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 low in fat, full of healthy vegetables and boasts low GI carbs from the barley and kidney beans. It's easy to make and very filling. What's not to love? It's ideal for someone who has diabetes and needs slow-release food for steady blood glucose.




  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut in thin wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup pearl barley
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 400g canned tomatoes with herbs
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups (500ml) vegetable or chicken stock, reduced-salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 300g can red kidney beans, drained

Nutrition per serve

Including one thick slice of wholemeal toast: 1312 kJ (312 kcal), 5g fat (including 1g saturated fat), 46g carbohydrate (including 12g sugars), 13g fibre and 1019mg 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, beans 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 kidney beans and return to heat, stirring.
  4. Serve with grainy toast.