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Vegetable Barley Soup

Vegetable Barley Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 Serves 6.
Pearl barley is barley from which the hard outer hull and germ have been removed, leaving small, cream-colored balls that look like the gems for which they are named. In this recipe, the tiny grains are used to thicken the soup, resulting in a pleasantly chewy texture.


  • 2 1/2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 boiling potatoes, unpeeled, diced
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


In a large soup pot over high heat, bring the stock to a boil. Add the barley, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until almost tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Add the carrots, parsnips, potatoes, rutabaga, broccoli, thyme and oregano. Simmer, uncovered, until all the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Autumn, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).