Sausage Barley Soup Perfect For Dinner Time

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Warm your soul with our Sausage Barley Soup, a rustic, hearty concoction that perfectly encapsulates the essence of comfort food. Plump, juicy sausages are paired with chewy, nutty barley, creating a symphony of flavors and textures that dance in harmony on your palate. The addition of fresh vegetables and a rich, savory broth brings depth and complexity to this satisfying dish. Each spoonful is like a warm hug, filling you with contentment from the inside out.

Immerse yourself in the comforting charm of a timeless classic – Sausage Barley Soup. As temperatures drop and leaves begin their vibrant transformation, this enchanting concoction bubbles away on the stove, offering a tantalizing aroma that seeps into every corner of your home. 

Sausage Barley Soup

Every spoonful cradles an exquisite mélange of succulent sausage, hearty barley, and an orchestra of vegetables, all steeped in a robust, herb-infused broth.

A treasure of traditional kitchens, this soup is steeped in culinary legacy, nurturing souls and satisfying cravings with its bold, rustic flavors. 

Whether unwinding after a long day or looking to share warmth with loved ones, Sausage Barley Soup is the heartwarming bowlful you desire.

So, don your apron, ignite the stove, and prepare to craft a gastronomic masterpiece with our step-by-step guide. With every simmer and stir, you make soup and create edible comfort and lasting memories.

What Is Sausage Barley Soup?

Sausage Barley Soup is a hearty, nourishing dish of succulent sausage, nutritious barley, and a vibrant array of vegetables. It’s simmered gently in a flavorful, herb-infused broth, which lends an irresistible depth of flavor. 

This classic soup is steeped in culinary tradition and is celebrated for its rustic, comforting qualities. Ideal for chilly days or cozy family dinners, Sausage Barley Soup offers a delectable blend of textures and tastes that leaves you feeling satisfied and content.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

You can adapt the Sausage Barley Soup recipe to suit various dietary preferences:

  • Keto: Replace barley with low-carb vegetables like cauliflower or zucchini. Opt for a high-fat, low-carb sausage.
  • Paleo: Substitute barley with root vegetables like sweet potatoes or parsnips. To comply with Paleo guidelines, ensure your sausage is free from additives and sugars.
  • Gluten-Free: Instead of barley, use a gluten-free grain such as quinoa or rice. Check that the sausage and broth are also gluten-free.
  • Whole30: Replace barley with Whole30-compliant ingredients like sweet potatoes or winter squash. Ensure your sausage is Whole30-approved and free from sugars, grains, and additives.
  • Vegetarian: Omit the sausage and add hearty ingredients such as mushrooms or lentils for protein. A flavorful vegetable broth can replace the meat-based one.
  • Vegan: Like the vegetarian version, omit the sausage and add a plant-based protein like lentils or chickpeas. You could also use vegan sausages, ensuring they align with your dietary guidelines. Always use vegetable broth.

Recipe Directions

  • Brown sausage, onion, and garlic in a skillet with Italian seasoning; drain.
  • Add broth, carrot, spinach, and barley to a slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve hot.
Sausage Barley Soup

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings  


  • Experiment with different types of sausages like spicy chorizo or sweet Italian sausage.
  • Switch barley for other grains like quinoa, rice, or legumes like lentils.
  • Customize the soup with your favorite vegetables. Consider hearty root vegetables or green leafy varieties.


  • Enhance the soup’s robustness by adding diced tomatoes or tomato paste.
  • For a creamier texture, stir in some heavy cream or coconut milk.
  • Include a splash of white wine for added depth of flavor.
  • Incorporate beans or chickpeas for added protein and texture.


  • Garnish with fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, or chives.
  • Sprinkle over some grated Parmesan or cheddar cheese.
  • For a creamy twist, top with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.
  • Add a few croutons or a slice of crusty bread for a satisfying crunch.

Can I Make Sausage Barley Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

The Sausage Barley Soup is a perfect candidate for slow cooker or Instant Pot preparation.

Slow Cooker

  • Brown the sausage, onion, and garlic in a skillet on the stove. Drain the fat and transfer the sausage mixture to your slow cooker.
  • Add the barley, vegetables, and broth to the slow cooker.
  • Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for about 4 hours, until the barley is tender.

Instant Pot

  • Use the sauté function on the Instant Pot to cook the sausage, onion, and garlic until the sausage is evenly browned. Don’t forget to drain the fat.
  • Add the barley, vegetables, and broth to the Instant Pot.
  • Secure the lid and set the valve to sealing.
  • Cook on high pressure for about 25 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
  • Be sure to check that the barley is cooked through. If not, you can use the sauté function to simmer a bit longer.
Sausage Barley Soup

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can certainly use either store-bought or homemade broth for Sausage Barley Soup, which has advantages.

Store-Bought Broth

  • This is a convenient option that can save a lot of time. When purchasing, look for low-sodium varieties. This gives you better control over the final seasoning of your soup. 
  • Also, ensure the broth is free from additives and preservatives if you aim for a more natural soup.

Homemade Broth

  • If you have the time, making your broth can be rewarding. Homemade broth often has a depth of flavor that’s hard to match with store-bought versions. 
  • You can make it from chicken, beef, or vegetables and store it in the freezer.
Sausage Barley Soup

How To Serve?

Serving Sausage Barley Soup can be an art, and the right accompaniments can elevate your soup experience. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Bread: A crusty bread or a warm dinner roll perfectly accompanies the hearty soup. It’s great for dipping and absorbing all the rich flavors.
  • Salad: Pair the soup with a fresh salad for a balanced, nutritious meal. A simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing would work well.
  • Garnish: A sprinkling of fresh herbs like parsley or basil right before serving can add a touch of freshness and color. A grated Parmesan or Romano cheese sprinkle can also add a nice touch.
  • Wine Pairing: If you enjoy wine with your meals, a light-bodied white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or a medium-bodied red like Pinot Noir could complement the soup well.
  • Serve Warm: Ensure the soup is served warm, not piping hot, to appreciate its flavors fully without burning your tongue.

Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread: A loaf of freshly baked sourdough or a baguette, sliced and lightly toasted, can be perfect for sopping up the flavorful broth.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Pair your soup with a classic grilled cheese sandwich for a more filling meal.
  • Green Salad: A light, fresh salad with a vinaigrette dressing can balance out the hearty soup. Arugula with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a lemon vinaigrette would be a great choice.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Simple roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts or asparagus could add a nice contrasting texture.
  • Cheese Plate: A small cheese plate with a few different varieties, like sharp cheddar, brie, or goat cheese, along with some crackers or grapes, could complement the flavors of the soup.
  • Apple Slaw: A crisp apple slaw can add a refreshing, tangy crunch that contrasts nicely with the warm, hearty soup.
Healthy soup

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Storage: Store leftover sausage barley soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For longer storage, freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Make Ahead: This soup is great for making ahead. Prepare the soup as instructed, then let it cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Reheat on the stove over medium heat, adding more broth if needed to reach desired consistency.
Sausage Barley Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Reheat as Soup: The easiest option is to reheat the soup for a quick, comforting meal.
  • Turn into a Casserole: Add some cheese or extra vegetables, and bake it until golden and bubbly.
  • Use as a Pasta Sauce: Cook pasta separately, and then mix with the soup for a hearty pasta dish.
  • Create Stuffed Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers and stuff with the soup mixture. Top with cheese and bake until the peppers are tender.
  • Make a Pot Pie: Use the soup as a filling for a savory pie topped with puff pastry.
  • Stir into a Frittata or Scramble: Add some soup to beaten eggs for a hearty, flavorful frittata or scramble.


  • Enhance the flavor of your sausage barley soup by browning the sausage before adding it to the soup. This will add depth and richness to the dish.
  • For a heartier texture, consider adding diced potatoes to the soup. They will complement the barley and sausage perfectly.
  • To make the soup even more nutritious, add a variety of vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onions. These will not only add flavor but also provide added vitamins and minerals.
  • For a spicy kick, add some red pepper flakes or paprika to the soup. Adjust the amount according to your taste preference.
  • To make the soup more filling, consider adding cooked beans such as kidney beans or white beans. They will add protein and fiber to the dish.
Sausage Barley Soup Perfect For Dinner Time

Sausage Barley Soup Perfect For Dinner Time

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Course: Soup Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time





Sausage Barley Soup is a comforting concoction of hearty ingredients and savory flavors. This vibrant medley features tender sausage pieces, robust barley, and a colorful array of vegetables.


  • 1 Pound 1 Italian Sausage (mild or hot)

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Onion, Diced

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Garlic, Minced

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Italian Seasoning

  • 1 Can 1 Chicken Broth

  • 1 Large 1 Carrot, Sliced

  • 10 Oz 10 Frozen Chopped Spinach

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Uncooked Pearl Barley

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Gather all your ingredients and prepare them as mentioned in the list.
  • Place a skillet over medium heat and add the Italian sausage, chopped onion, and minced garlic. Cook, breaking up the sausage with a spatula, until the sausage is evenly browned and the onions are translucent. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over the cooked sausage mixture for added flavor. Stir well to incorporate the seasoning evenly. Then, remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Drain the excess fat from the cooked sausage mixture using a slotted spoon or by pouring the mixture into a strainer. Discard the excess fat.
  • In a slow cooker, combine the cooked sausage mixture.
  • Pour the chicken broth into the slow cooker, ensuring all the ingredients are well-covered with the liquid.
  • Chop the carrot into small, bite-sized pieces, and add them to the slow cooker.
  • Wash the baby spinach leaves thoroughly and chop them into smaller pieces. Add the chopped spinach to the slow cooker as well.
  • Rinse the pearl barley under cold water and drain it. Then, evenly distribute the barley over the other ingredients in the slow cooker.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Remember that Italian sausage can be salty, so adjust the seasoning accordingly.
  • Cover the slow cooker with its lid, and set it to cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Cooking on low allows for a gentler, longer cooking time, which can enhance the flavors.
  • Once the cooking time is complete, stir the soup well to ensure all the flavors are incorporated, and the barley is cooked to perfection.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more salt, pepper, or Italian seasoning to suit your preferences.
  • Ladle the hot and flavorful sausage, barley, and vegetable soup into serving bowls.
  • Alternatively, garnish the soup with fresh herbs like parsley or basil, or sprinkle some grated cheese on top for extra flavor and a beautiful presentation.
  • Serve the soup hot, and accompany it with some crusty bread or a side salad for a complete and satisfying meal.
  • Knife and Cutting Board
  • Large Skillet
  • Slow Cooker or Large Pot
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • Ladle
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons


  • Feel free to substitute the sausage with your preferred protein – chicken, beef, or even a plant-based alternative for a vegetarian version.
  • You can adjust the quantity and types of vegetables based on your preference or what you have.
  • The soup may thicken upon standing as the barley absorbs the broth. Add additional broth or water when reheating if needed.
  • This soup is freezer-friendly. Make a big batch and freeze it in individual servings for quick, convenient meals later.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table

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