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Vegan Barley Bean Vegetable Soup

Posted by Judith K.

After failing to find a satisfactory vegetarian or vegan recipe for barley + bean + veggie soup, we took bits from here and there, and made up this one.

This vegan soup recipe is great served with corn bread or muffins, and is delicious sprinkled with dairy or non-dairy parmesan cheese.

4 - 6 Servings:

The beans and barley can be soaked overnight or while you work, to save cooking time, and the soup can go in the slow cooker or crockpot, once the veggies are sauted. If you use canned beans, drain and rinse them first.


  • 1/3 c. dried garbanzo beans, OR 1 16 oz can, drained & rinsed
  • 1/3 c. dried kidney beans, OR 1 16 oz can, drained & rinsed
  • Bean cooking directions below
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley, directions below, soaked 4 or more hours, or pre-cooked 45 minutes in 3 cups water
  • 2 - 3 Tbsp olive oil OR ghee
  • 2 med. carrots, peeled & diced
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 lb green beans, 1" slice
  • 1/2 red pepper, seeded & diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced, OR 1 tiny pinch cayenne
  • 1 slice fresh ginger, peeled & minced, OR 1/4 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed, peeled & minced OR 1/4 tsp powdered garlic OR 1 tiny pinch asoefetida
  • 1 tsp each: basil, thyme, marjoram, paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tblsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tblsp Braggs, soy sauce or miso
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley, cilantro, or basil to garnish


  1. Sort and clean the dried beans
  2. Soak the beans together in hot water for four hours, or overnight in cold water
  3. Drain and rinse
  4. Place in medium saucepan, cover with cold unsalted water
  5. Bring to boil uncovered, boil for ten minutes, skim the foam
  6. Cover and simmer for 2 hours
  7. OR cook 9 minutes at high pressure in a pressure cooker
  8. Slow cooker or crock pot: After boiling and skimming, cook for 6 - 8 hours on low.

Pearl Barley:

  1. Wash, rinse, then soak barley 4 hours, or refrigerate overnight in 3 cups water
  2. OR cook for 45 minutes in 3 cups water
  3. Don't discard the soaking or cooking water - it should go in the soup

Barley Bean Soup Directions:

  1. Heat oil or ghee on medium in a 6 - 8 qt. pot
  2. Chop carrots, potatoes, celery, pepper & green beans
  3. Increase the heat a bit, and saute 5 minutes.
  4. Add spices and saute another few minutes.
  5. Add the barley + soaking or cooking water
  6. Add the beans + enough of the cooking liquid to suit you
  7. Add 1/2 tsp salt + tomato paste
  8. Bring to boil, cover and simmer 20 - 30 minutes, until veggies are nicely tender
  9. Slow cooker or crockpot method: transfer to preheated crock pot and simmer 2 - r hours on low. Keep your eye on it for the first time, as cooking times vary with crockpot size and make.
  10. Add Braggs, soy sauce or miso, & fresh minced herb
  11. Add more salt + pepper to taste

Note: If you're going to soak and cook beans, it's worth making extra, to freeze in small amounts for future vegetarian meals.

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