Italian-Inspired Vegetable Barley Soup

Published February 8, 2016

2 SmartPoints

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 55 min

Serves: 8

This soup is packed with fibre from tons of vegetable and barley. Fresh basil and grated Parmesan add a punch of great flavour.


  • 2 tsp olive oil, extra-virgin

  • 1 large uncooked carrot(s), diced

  • 1 small uncooked onion(s), chopped

  • 3⁄4 cup(s) uncooked celery, diced

  • 4 tsp minced garlic

  • 4 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup(s) water

  • 14 1⁄2 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1⁄2 cup(s) uncooked pearl barley, pearl variety

  • 8 1⁄2 oz fresh mushroom(s), thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

  • 1⁄4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

  • 1 small uncooked zucchini, diced

  • 1⁄2 cup(s) basil, chopped

  • 8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano recommended


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrot, onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are light golden, about 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  3. Add broth, water and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil over high heat.

  4. Add barley, mushrooms and pepper; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until barley is almost tender, about 40 minutes.

  5. Stir in zucchini; cover and cook until barley and zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Season to taste, if desired. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese. Yields about 1 cup per serving.


This soup keeps very well. Refrigerate up to 5 days or freeze in airtight containers up to 3 months.

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