Bean & Barley Soup


This hearty bean and barley soup tastes like it has simmered for hours, but actually it's quite quick to throw together. Plus this recipe for healthy bean and barley soup freezes beautifully. If you have cooked barley on hand, omit the quick-cooking barley and stir in 1 1/2 cups cooked barley along with the broth in Step 2.

Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
4 servings, 2 1/2 cups each


  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and chopped

  • 5 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed

  • 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

  • ¾ cup quick-cooking barley

  • 1 (5 ounce) package baby spinach (6 cups)

  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, garlic, and basil; cook, stirring frequently, until tender and just beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

  2. Mash 1/2 cup of the beans. Stir the mashed and whole beans, tomatoes, broth and barley into the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese and pepper.


To make ahead: Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

333 Calories
8g Fat
55g Carbs
13g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 2 1/2 cups
Calories 333
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 55g 20%
Dietary Fiber 12g 43%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 13g 27%
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Vitamin A 1920IU 38%
Vitamin C 37mg 41%
Folate 24mcg 6%
Sodium 619mg 27%
Calcium 183mg 14%
Iron 4mg 19%
Magnesium 92mg 22%
Potassium 832mg 18%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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