Italian-Inspired Vegetable Barley Soup

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2 tsp. olive oil, extra-virgin

1 large uncooked carrot(s), diced

1 small uncooked onion(s), chopped

3/4 cup(s) uncooked celery, diced

4 tsp. minced garlic

4 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup(s) water

14 1/2 oz. canned diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup(s) uncooked barley, pearl variety

8 oz. fresh mushroom(s), crimini, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

1 small uncooked zucchini, diced

1/2 cup(s) basil, chopped

4 tbsp. shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


1. Heat oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrot, onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are light golden, about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, water and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil over high heat. Add barley, mushrooms and pepper; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until barley is almost tender, about 40 minutes.

3. Stir in zucchini; cover and cook until barley and zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Season to taste, if desired. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle each serving with 1/2 tablespoon cheese. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Bon Appetit!

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