Homemade Vegetable Barley Soup is thick, hearty, and jam-packed with fresh veggies in a flavorful broth!

Simply combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and let the Crock Pot do the rest! The result is a perfectly healthy meal that everyone will love!

Vegetable Barley Soup in a crock pot with a ladle

A Fresh and Hearty Favorite

This is the perfect budget-friendly soup and is great if you’re short on time! Just set it and forget it…until the house smells amazing in a few hours that is!

This soup is so versatile! If you have extra veggies in the fridge or garden, chop them up and add them in to stretch this soup even further.

You can keep it vegetarian or add some protein like beef or chicken! This classic Crockpot favorite that can be made with any leftover veggies or meat.

Slow cooker vegetable barley soup is packed with healthy veggies and fiber.

Dry ingredients for vegetable barley soup in a crock pot

Ingredients and Variations

Whatever ingredients are in the pantry, fridge, or garden can be used to give this vibrant soup extra texture, color, and flavor!

BARLEY This veggie barley soup is made with pearl barley! Quinoa, rice, pasta or lentils will also taste delicious if you don’t have barley (cooking time may vary based on the grain added).

VEGETABLES This soup is loaded with fresh veggies! Carrots, celery, potato, tomato, corn, and bell peppers are all added to this soup, but any vegetable will work great. Zucchini, mushrooms, green beans, or even cauliflower.

BROTH Beef broth is added to this soup because of the rich flavor it adds. Use vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian soup!

SPICES Garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and a bay leaf are all that’s needed to complete the flavor of this soup!

To Add a Little Protein: Toss in some chuck roast beef, ground beef or turkey, leftover shredded chicken or steak. If your meat is already cooked, add it in the last hour of cooking. Or keep it meatless by adding in lentils, garbanzo beans or black beans to stretch this soup even further!

Vegetable Barley Soup in a ladle in a crock pot cooked and ready to serve

How to Make Vegetable Barley Soup

An easy and super healthy soup will be ready and waiting in the Crockpot!

  1. Combine all ingredients (per recipe below) in a crockpot except for tomatoes.
  2. Cook until barley is tender. Add tomatoes.
  3. Discard bay leaf and serve.

Season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese if desired. If you have fresh herbs on hand (parsley or basil) stir those in just before serving.

Serve with homemade french bread and a beet salad for a complete meal! Serve with some homemade cheesy breadsticks and a tangy cucumber tomato salad!

Overview of two bowls of vegetable barley soup

Tips for Perfect Barley Soup

  • Like most soups, vegetable barley soup only gets better the next day. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • To reheat and refresh the flavors, just add a few dashes of salt and pepper and heat on the stovetop.
  • To freeze vegetable barley soup, ladle chilled soup directly into zippered bags and label them with the date. Lay them flat in the freezer and once they are frozen, store the bags upright to save freezer space. Vegetable barley soup should keep about 8 weeks in the freezer!

More Soup-er Recipes

Did you make this Vegetable Barley Soup?  Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Vegetable Barley Soup in a crock pot with a ladle
4.97 from 103 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Vegetable Barley Soup

This soup uses fresh ingredients. It's hearty, filling and so easy to make!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 onion
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 14 ½ ounce canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 large potato cubed or sweet potato
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn defrosted
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 cups beef broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped


  • Heat butter in a medium pan and cook onion until it is slightly tender, 2-3 minutes.
  • Combine all ingredients in a 6qt slow cooker.
  • Cook on low 7-8 hour or on high 3-4 hours until barley is tender.
  • Discard bay leaf, season with salt & pepper to taste, garnish with parmesan cheese and stir in the fresh parsley.


To keep this vegetarian, use vegetable broth and replace the Worcestershire sauce with a vegetarian alternative.
Fresh vegetables can be replaced with 2 cups frozen vegetables.
This veggie barley soup is made with pearl barley!
Quinoa, rice, pasta or lentils will also taste delicious if you don't have barley (cooking time may vary based on the grain added). 
To Add a Little Protein:
Cooked ground beef can be added to this recipe before cooking.
Other meats can be added and if already cooked, add it in the last hour of cooking.
Add in canned and rinsed lentils, garbanzo beans or black beans to stretch this soup even father!
4.97 from 103 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 306 | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1104mg | Potassium: 1650mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2868IU | Vitamin C: 41mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Lunch, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Vegetable barley soup in a crockpot with writing
Two bowls of vegetable barley soup with writing
vegetable barley soup being served with writing
Top image - two bowls of vegetable barley soup. Bottom image - vegetable barley soup ingredients in a crockpot


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Yummy recipe! Prepping meals for a nor’easter I switched up a few items I didn’t have in the house.

    Instead of barley I used lentil, 4 cups of beef broth and 4 cups of vegetable broth, I added 4 Tbsp of tomato paste, and the can diced tomatoes I combined at the same time as the rest of the ingredients so I wouldn’t forget them later. I cooked it in the crockpot for 5 hrs on high. Delicious! Definitely a keeper! Served with a side salad and homemade garlic-cheesy biscuits❤️Plenty leftover for after shoveling the forecasted snow.

    1. You answered my question! I was wondering what it meant about 1/2 before and if I could just put them in in the beginning…thanks!

  2. Made it, but it tastes a little off. Now i know the ingredients are all good, and fresh, But it has an after taste, and the barley i hate to say it makes it all most taste spoiled

  3. This recipe was easy to do and tastes great. I followed the amounts exactly but made on the stovetop. Came out great but not as red as in the picture. Would recommend adding tomato sauce or paste to get that rich red color

  4. This is the best soup I have made so far this fall. Substituted can corn for frozen corn and I didn’t have vegetable stock so I used beef cubes with the 8 cups of water. It was truly delicious.5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried this in the IP (although I do think it would work just fine). Barely takes about 20-22 minutes on high pressure. Let us know how it works out if you try it!

      1. Good recipe. Cooked in the IP for 22 minutes and it worked great! Next time will try using sweet potato and some beef. Thank you.5 stars

  5. I make this recipe using 1 pound cooked ground beef. I do not use as much stock as this recipe calls for. I use 5 cups. If you decide to cut back on the amount of stock make sure you cut back on the amount of barley. I use about a half a cup of barley to 5 cups of stock. I also use more carrot than this one calls for. I find that adding to tablespoons of tomato paste gives the soup a richer taste. My husband hates corn so I am sad green beans instead.4 stars

  6. I made this today and no way is this only 4 servings. My crockpot was almost full. My soup didn’t thicken at all and honestly there was little flavor. I even added beef to the mixture.

    I’m disappointed that I wasted all these ingredients as this is not as good as pictures look.

  7. I’m a little confused here. Is the cooked ground beef added with the other ingredients before cooking or during the last hour.

    1. Apologies for the confusion, ground beef can be added at the beginning (some other meats, like chicken breast are added close to the end so they don’t dry out).

  8. I bought some barley to keep on hand, but I haven’t been able to find beef chunks to be able to make a beef and barley stew. This sounds absolutely delicious and no beef! And bonus points for the slow cooker. I think I’ll give this a try!