Hearty Vegetable Soup

Friday 16 December 2016

We are real soup lovers in this house.  I don't think I have ever met a soup I did not like and neither has Todd.     There is a cafe at the market in town that does lovely bowls of soup and for a really good price.  Todd  just loves to treat himself to a bowl when he goes into town in the winter.

This is a great soup for cold and windy days and a great soup for using up what is in the vegetable bin.  You can vary the vegetables according to whatever you have on hand.  

This is hearty and delicious.  Today I used carrots, swede, celery, onion, leeks, cabbage . . .  and I might even have added a splash of tomato juice.  I can't remember.  But if I did it was only a splash.

The barley makes it especially hearty.  I do so love barley or rice in a soup, don't you?

 You could add a handful of dried peas as well if you wanted to.  They would go very well.  In any case this basic recipe can be a canvas for you to work upon and create your own speciality!

*Hearty Vegetable Soup*
Serves 4 to 6

This is a really lovely soup, chock full of vegetables and all that is good for you.  With some crusty bread this makes a simple and delicious meal! 

1 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
1 large brown onion, peeled and diced
4 stalks of celery, trimmed and diced
3 medium parsnips, peeled, cored and diced
(Alternately you can use an equivalent in swede/rutabaga, peeled and diced}
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 large leek, washed, trimmed and diced
a few handfuls of chopped cabbage
3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
a sprig of fresh thyme
1 1/2 litres chicken or vegetable stock (about 6 1/2 cups)
60g of uncooked pearl barley (1/3 cup)
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil and butter together in a large saucepan. Add all of the vegetables except for the garlic.  Stir to coat.  Sweat over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until beginning to soften.  Add the garlic and thyme.  Cook for a few minutes longer.  Add the stock along with some seasoning.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Stir in the barley.  Simmer gently for about half an hour until the barley is cooked.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper as desired.  Serve hot with some crusty bread.
(Don't forget to fish out and discard the thyme stalk!)

Todd has his with a roll.  The Canadian in my loves it with crackers and the commoner in me likes them crumbled over top like croutons.  ☺


Happy Friday and Bon Appetit!


  1. My mother used to make soups with barley. They were wonderful. I make vegetable soups with whatever we have in the cupboard. No barley here. I puree the soup, or most of it to make it thicker. Greeks make chicken soup and fish soup. Both really tasty and often thickened with eggs and lemon juice

    1. I have seen recipes for Greek Avoglemone (sp?) soup and have wanted to try it Linda. I could send you some barley if you wanted. E-mail me. The address is in the side column! xo

    2. Avgolemono means egg and lemon. They really thicken an ordinary soup and make it flavoursome and velvety

    3. I will have to try it now Linda! It sounds delicious!

  2. PS I often see that Canadians and Americans eat soup with crackers. Do you break them up and put them in the soup like croutons.....or what?

    1. If you order soup in a restaurant, it will come with a bread basket which will have crackers, melba toast, rolls and bread sticks. We always had crackers at home. I like to break them up myself, but I hear it is considered uncouth! lol that's me tres uncouth xo

  3. Tomato soup and crackers as a child..no soup..mush :)

    I love the look of this soup..I am a soup lover!

    1. Oh Yes Monique and I always added a dab of butter to the top of mine, lol I was always a glutton! This soup is great! xo


  4. we love soups at our house cant wait for the cold weather to get here

    1. Summer was in a real hurry to leave us Heather! Its cold already and I am trying to put off putting on the heat! Maybe we will have an Indian Summer! Here's hoping! xo

  5. We had this for dinner last night and it was a perfect meal on a cold, blustery autumn day. Loaded with vegetable goodness and pearl barley it was filling and delicious. I used a mix of root vegetables which were all on sale cheaply this week, so it was an inexpensive meal as well. It's a really versatile dish which I love as well because you can use the vegetables you have on hand. We had ours with a crusty bread roll and were very satisfied.


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