Hearty vegetable and barley soup

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Tuesday, 02 June 2009.
Tagged: #5aDayChallenge, ancient grains, healthy cooking, healthy recipe, high fibre, soup, vegetables, whole grain

  • Ready In: 60 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 40 minutes
  • Serves: 4
Hearty vegetable and barley soup


This meal-in-a-soup is very high in fibre, with little fat, full of healthy vegetables and boasts low GI carbs from the barley and beans. It's easy to make and filling. What's not to love? It's also ideal for someone who has diabetes and needs slow-release food for steady blood glucose.


  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 onion, cut in thin wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup pearl barley
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 400 g canned tomatoes
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups (500 mL) vegetable or chicken stock, reduced-salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 400 g can white beans, drained

Nutrition per serve

Including one thick slice of grain toast: 1312 kJ (312 Cal), 5 g fat (including 1 g saturated fat), 46 g carbohydrate (including 12 g sugars), 13 g fibre and 1020 mg sodium.  Read our nutrition rating system.


  1. Heat a large saucepan and add oil. Then add onion, garlic and barley; stir over medium heat about 2 minutes or until onion is soft but not browned.
  2. Add celery, carrot, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, water, Worcestershire sauce and basil.
  3. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until barley is soft. Mix in drained beans and return to heat, stirring.
  4. Serve with 4 slices of grainy toast.