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.
  2. Cook until barley is tender, about 3-4 hours on high.
  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 118 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
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  • 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 118 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. Took much longer to cook through than 3 hours 45 min. I followed instructions to a T. It took 5 hours to get everything tender. Other than that, it was really tasty!

  2. In the notes above the recipe it says to add the tomatoes after the barley is tender but the printed recipe says to add everything after the onion is cooked. Is there a reason to wait and add the tomatoes after the barley is tender?

    1. Sorry for the confusion Alix. All of the ingredients, including the tomatoes, can be added in step 2.

  3. How is the onion to be prepped? You mention chopping for the other veggies so I could assume that it’s to be chopped. But you never know! Thanks much.

    1. I haven’t tried it but that should work just fine. It will slightly change the flavor but will still be delicious! If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out Andrew!

  4. This is amazingly tasty! I added ground beef the first time. Now I’m adding some leftover turkey and riced cauliflower to replace the starchy potato and barley. I’m hoping that will hold up. Thanks for a great recipe!

  5. I could only find Quick Barley at the store. Would that still work in my crockpot? Never cooked with barley before so not sure how to adjust

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Cassidy. If you do try it, you will likely need to reduce the cooking time. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  6. This sounds really good. My Mom is really sick, and I want to make her some soup. Can you just add the canned tomatoes at the beginning instead of waiting? If not, how long approx does it take before I can add them in the pot?5 stars

    1. Sorry for the confusion Wendy. All of the ingredients, including the tomatoes, can be added in step 2.

  7. This soup is incredibly delicious. I don’t make soup often but I just had to try this loaded vegetable soup. I added a small bag of frozen mixed veggies in addition to the carrots, celery and potato. I also used vegetable broth to keep it as vegetarian as possible. The soup thickens after cooking in the crock pot on low for about 7 hrs. but that makes it even more delicious. I may try adding tofu the next time I make it. What a delight on this fall October day. Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  8. I made this on my stovetop versus slow cooker and it was very, very, good. I added a 1/4 teaspoon of Red Pepper Flakes for a little zing. Also, the parmesan cheese is an absolute must! I added it to the bowl at the table – great depth of flavor.5 stars

  9. It was a satisfying soup but way too much barley. I’d cut it by half at least and add more broth and seasonings.

  10. Really really good. Love the smoky flavour from the smoked paprika. I added black beans and sweet potatoe. Thx Holly really easy and really good.5 stars

  11. I added everything in the recipe and cooked it for the 7 hours on low and added more vegetables, but the soup lacked flavor. The sweet potato was not yet soft after 8 hours on low. I turned it up to high added a small can of tomato paste, more smoked paprika, 2 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp coriander, 2 tsp. of onion powder. I would say go with only one 32 oz carton of beef soup as the soup had way too much liquid for a crock pot presentation. By turning up the temperature for at least 4-5 more hours, the liquid was still too much and may take another day. But the flavor improved tremendously.3 stars

  12. This recipe has become my favorite hearty winter soup. I skip the onion. Use sweet potato and petite diced tomatoes. The balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce give it a subtle complex flavor. Freezes well. Yummy.5 stars

  13. Wonderful hearty soup I have shared with many. The Worcestershire sauce adds a subtle yumminess. It freezes well.5 stars