Nutritious White Bean And Barley Soup – Perfect For Dinner Time

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Experience the wholesome comfort of our White Bean and Barley Soup! Hearty white beans and nutty barley come together in a symphony of flavor and texture that warms the soul. Each spoonful is a journey through rustic simplicity, where earthy richness meets the hearty satisfaction of grains. Dive into a bowl of pure culinary goodness, where warmth and wholesomeness unite in perfect harmony. It’s not just soup; it’s a comforting embrace, ready to nourish and delight with every hearty bite.

Beans and barley dance in a bowl. Together, they craft a tale of flavor, health, and tradition. Each spoonful transports you. Your journey through Italian kitchens is rustic and genuine. You feel the warmth of grandmothers’ stoves. White Bean and Barley Soup is perfect comforting meal Quick and Easy to make.

White Bean And Barley Soup

This soup is more than a meal. It’s a legacy. A blend of rich protein-packed beans and wholesome barley grains. It warms the soul on cold nights. It nurtures the body with essential nutrients. Simple ingredients come alive. 

They tell a story of authenticity, passion, and culinary mastery. Dive in. Discover the symphony of flavors that is the White Bean and Barley Soup. Experience a classic dish reborn for today’s discerning palate.

What Is White Bean and Barley Soup?

White Bean and Barley Soup is a hearty, traditional dish. It originates from rustic European kitchens and melds creamy white beans with chewy barley grains. 

This soup is comforting, nutritious, and simmered in a savory broth with carrots, celery, and onions.

It stands as a testament to simple ingredients creating profound flavors. Ideal for cold days, this soup nourishes the body and warms the heart.

White Bean And Barley Soup

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 


  • Skip the barley and beans, as they are high in carbs.
  • Add in low-carb vegetables like zucchini or cauliflower.
  • Boost fats by adding more olive oil or using heavy cream for a creamy texture.


  • Replace barley with cauliflower rice since grains aren’t paleo-friendly.
  • Ensure the broth is free of additives, or make your own.



  • Replace barley with diced potatoes or sweet potatoes.
  • Ensure broth is Whole30 compliant (no sugars, additives, or dairy).

Vegetarian & Vegan

  • Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • For a protein boost, consider adding more beans or adding lentils.
  • Blend some of the beans for a creamy vegan version and add them to the soup.
White Bean And Barley Soup

Recipe Directions 

  1. Bean Preparation: Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a Dutch oven. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Let stand covered for an hour.
  2. Sauteing: Drain beans and discard liquid. Sauté onion and garlic in oil in the same Dutch oven.
  3. Cooking: Add broth, water, prepped beans, carrots, bell peppers, celery, barley, 1/4 cup parsley, bay leaves, salt, thyme, and pepper. Bring the mix to a boil.
  4. Simmering: Reduce heat, cover, and let it simmer for an hour or until beans turn tender.
  5. Final Touch: Stir in the diced tomatoes and heat them. Discard bay leaves.
  6. Serving: Pour into bowls and sprinkle with the leftover parsley.
White Bean And Barley Soup

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

  • Meat Variations: Add diced chicken, smoked sausage, or crumbled bacon for extra protein.
  • Vegan Protein: Tofu cubes or tempeh can make the dish heartier for vegans.
  • Grain Swap: Replace barley with quinoa, rice, or farro for different textures and flavors.
  • Creamy Texture: Blend half the soup and mix for a creamier consistency. Alternatively, add coconut milk for a vegan creamy variant.
  • Spicy Kick: Drizzle with chili oil or toss in red pepper flakes.
  • Greens: Spinach, kale, or Swiss chard can be added in the last 10 minutes of cooking for added nutrition.
  • Toppings: Grated Parmesan, croutons, a dollop of yogurt, or chopped fresh herbs like basil or cilantro.
  • Zesty Twist: Fresh lemon juice or zest squeeze can elevate the soup’s freshness.
White Bean And Barley Soup

Can I Make White Bean and Barley Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Beans: If using dried beans, pre-soak them as directed, or opt for a quick soak by boiling them briefly and then letting them sit for an hour.
  • Preparation: In a skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in oil until translucent. Transfer them to the slow cooker.
  • Ingredients: Add the pre-soaked beans, broth, water, carrots, bell peppers, celery, barley, 1/4 cup parsley, bay leaves, salt, thyme, and pepper to the slow cooker.
  • Cooking: Cover and set the slow cooker low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Beans should be tender when done.
  • Finishing Touches: About 30 minutes before serving, add the diced tomatoes. Discard bay leaves and sprinkle with remaining parsley before serving.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)

  • Saute: Use the sauté function to cook the onions and garlic in oil until translucent.
  • Beans: If you need to pre-soak the beans, increase the cooking time by 10-15 minutes.
  • Ingredients: Add the beans, broth, water, carrots, bell peppers, celery, barley, 1/4 cup parsley, bay leaves, salt, thyme, and pepper into the Instant Pot.
  • Cooking: Secure the lid, set the valve to sealing, and cook on high pressure for 25-30 minutes (if beans are pre-soaked) or 40-45 minutes (if beans are not soaked).
  • Release: Once done, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, then do a quick release.
  • Finishing Touches: Switch to sauté mode, add diced tomatoes, and let it simmer for a few minutes. Turn off, discard bay leaves, and garnish with remaining parsley.

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

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: It’s ready to use, making it great for quick meals.
  • Consistency: The flavor and salt content are consistent across batches.
  • Variety: Available in multiple flavors – chicken, beef, vegetable, bone broth, and more.
  • Shelf Life: It has a longer shelf life, especially if unopened.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor: Often richer and deeper in flavor. You have control over ingredients, ensuring they match your taste.
  • Natural: No artificial preservatives or additives.
  • Cost-Effective: This can be made from leftovers like vegetable scraps or bones.
  • Versatility: You can create specialized broths with specific herbs or roasted ingredients.
White Bean And Barley Soup

How To Serve?

  • Warm Bowls: Pre-warm serving bowls to keep the soup hot longer.
  • Garnish: Top with freshly chopped parsley or grated Parmesan cheese for added flavor and visual appeal.
  • Bread: For dipping, offer crusty whole-grain bread or garlic toast on the side.
  • Drizzle: A drizzle of high-quality olive oil or a squeeze of lemon can elevate the flavor.
  • Texture: For an added crunch, sprinkle croutons or roasted pumpkin seeds on top.
  • Presentation: Use bowls with contrasting colors to make the soup’s vibrant ingredients stand out.
White Bean And Barley Soup

Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread: Freshly baked baguette or sourdough is perfect for dipping.
  • Green Salad: A light, lemony arugula or mixed greens salad with vinaigrette balances the soup’s heartiness.
  • Roasted Veggies: Seasonal vegetables roasted with olive oil and herbs.
  • Grilled Cheese: A classic combo, offering a crispy, cheesy contrast.
  • Bruschetta: Toasted bread topped with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and basil.
  • Olives & Cheese: A Mediterranean-inspired platter complements the soup’s flavors.
  • Quinoa Salad: A chilled salad with veggies and a light dressing.
  • Steamed Asparagus: Drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
White Bean And Barley Soup

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup up to 2 days in advance, allowing flavors to meld for a richer taste.
  • Storage: Cool the soup completely before transferring it to airtight containers. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat gently on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even heating.
  • Broth Adjustment: Add a splash of broth or water when reheating if the soup has thickened too much.
  • Garnish Fresh: Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs or a drizzle of olive oil upon serving to refresh flavors and enhance presentation.
White Bean And Barley Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Soup Remix: Add new vegetables or proteins for a fresh twist.
  • Grain Bowl: Use as a hearty base, topped with avocado, fresh herbs, or a poached egg.
  • Pasta Sauce: Blend until smooth and serve over whole grain or vegetable pasta.
  • Stuffed Vegetables: Use as a filling for bell peppers or tomatoes, then bake.
  • Casserole Base: Mix with cooked pasta, top with cheese, and bake.
  • Taco Filling: Blend slightly and use as a vegetarian taco or burrito filling.
  • Bread Dip: Blend and serve as a dip for crusty bread.
  • Pie Filling: Encase in pie pastry for a savory pot pie.
  • Thicken: Reduce on the stove to create a thicker stew-like consistency.


  • Barley Prep:Soak barley overnight for faster cooking and a smoother texture.
  • Bean Variety: Choose white beans like cannellini or navy beans for a creamy consistency.
  • Aromatics Sauté: Sauté onions, carrots, and celery to build a flavorful base before adding other ingredients.
  • Herbal Infusion: Add dried herbs like thyme or rosemary during cooking for depth of flavor.
  • Lemon Brightness: Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice to add brightness and balance to the soup’s richness.
Nutritious White Bean And Barley Soup - Perfect For Dinner Time

Nutritious White Bean And Barley Soup – Perfect For Dinner Time

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Course: Soup Recipe


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White Bean and Barley Soup is a nourishing blend of hearty beans, chewy barley, and vibrant vegetables.


  • 1 1/2 Cups 1 1/2 Dried Great Northern beans

  • 1 Chopped 1 Large onion

  • 2 Minced 2 Garlic cloves

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 Olive or canola oil

  • 4 Cups 4 Vegetable or chicken broth

  • 4 Cups 4 Water

  • 3 Sliced 3 Medium carrots

  • 2 Siced 2 Red bell peppers

  • 2 Chopped 2 Celery ribs

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Medium pearl barley

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Fresh parsley

  • 2 2 Bay leaves

  • 1 Teaspoon 1 Salt

  • 1/2 Teaspoon 1/2 Dried thyme

  • 1/2 Teaspoon 1/2 Pepper

  • 1 Can 1 Diced tomatoes (undrained)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Begin with Beans: Start by placing beans in your Dutch oven. Ensure they’re covered by at least 2 inches of water.
  • Initial Boiling: Turn up the heat and bring the water to a boil. Let this bubble for about 2 minutes.
  • Soaking: Turn off the heat, cover the Dutch oven, and let the beans soak for 1 hour. This helps soften them.
  • Prepping for Cooking: Once the beans have soaked, drain them. Dispose of the soaking water, ensuring no beans are lost.
  • Onion and Garlic Time: Pour the oil in the same Dutch oven. Once it’s warm, sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic. They should become fragrant and translucent.
  • Mixing Ingredients: Add your prepped beans and pour the broth and water. Add carrots, diced red bell peppers, chopped celery, and barley.
  • Herbs and Spices: Now, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the minced parsley. Add the bay leaves, salt, thyme, and pepper for flavoring.
  • Main Cooking: Bring everything to a lively boil. Once boiling, lower the heat. Cover your Dutch oven and let it all simmer. Cook for roughly an hour. The beans should be tender by the end.
  • Finishing Touches: Finally, mix in the undrained diced tomatoes. Let them heat through.
  • Cleaning Up: Remember to fish out and discard the bay leaves before serving.
  • Serve and Enjoy: Ladle the soup into bowls. Top each with a sprinkle of the remaining fresh parsley. Enjoy the warm, hearty flavors!
  • Dutch Oven or Soup Kettle
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Colander
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Blender
  • Ladle
  • Airtight Containers
  • Slotted Spoon


  • Adjust the soup’s thickness by adding more broth or water as needed.
  • Fresh herbs, like rosemary or basil, can be added for a flavor variation.
  • If using canned beans, always rinse to reduce sodium content.
  • The soup’s consistency might thicken upon refrigeration; reheat with a splash of water or broth.
  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicier kick during cooking.
  • Always remove the bay leaves before serving, as they’re not meant for consumption.
  • This soup pairs well with a splash of acidity, like a squeeze of fresh lemon, before serving.

Nutrition Table 

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