Photo of Vegetable barley soup by WW

Vegetable barley soup

Total Time
1 hr 15 min
20 min
55 min
This filling soup is packed with flavor and offers a mix of texture thanks to tons of vegetables and barley. Barley comes in two forms: hulled and pearled. Hulled barley has had the tough, inedible, outermost hull removed, but it still has the bran and endosperm layer. Pearled barley is polished to remove the bran and possibly the endosperm layer, leaving the grain behind. The result is a grain—though no longer a whole grain—that cooks more quickly and provides a satisfying chewy texture and nutty flavor. Fresh basil and salty Parmesan add a punch of great flavor. This soup keeps well. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Olive oil

2 tsp, extra-virgin


1 large, diced

Uncooked onion

1 small, chopped


¾ cup(s), chopped, diced

Jarred minced garlic

4 tsp

Reduced sodium chicken broth

4 cup(s)


1 cup(s)

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz, undrained

Uncooked pearl barley

½ cup(s)


8 oz, cremini, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Uncooked zucchini

1 small, diced


½ cup(s), chopped

Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

4 Tbsp


  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 1/2 tablespoon cheese. Yields about 1 cup per serving.