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Instant Pot Vegetable Barley Soup

Homestyle Vegetable Barley Soup is rich and hearty. This simple soup with subtle flavors is super satisfying.

Whole grain barley,  chock-full of colorful veggies, hearty garbanzo beans all simmered into flavorful broth. This warm hug in a bowl we all need on cold wintery nights.

I am including Instant Pot, stove top and Crock-Pot instructions to make this vegetarian soup. It also is very easy to customize with what you like and have easily available.

Three white soup bowls full of vegetable soup

ONE POT MEAL – WHOLESOME NUTRIENTS RICH SOUP

Vegetarian barley soup is one pot wonder meal. It combines all ” good for you ” healthy and clean eating ingredients.  There is whole grains, high-protein beans, and plenty of healthy and high-fiber vegetables. It also is low in fat, high in flavors meal.

WHY MAKE SOUPS IN INSTANT POT ?

There’s nothing quite like having a nice hot bowl of soup for easy lunch or dinner. It is a quick mood booster for me especially during cold harsh winter weather.

I absolutely love making fresh homemade soup recipes in my Instant Pot.  They’re easy to make from scratch. Many of these recipes can be made in big batches so multiple meals are taken care of !

THIS EASY MEATLESS BARLEY SOUP IS

  • HEALTHY
  • FULL OF WHOLE GRAINS AND NUTRIENTS
  • VEGAN
  • DAIRY FREE
  • LOW COST, BUDGET FRIENDLY
  • SUPERBLY FLAVORFUL
  • FAMILY FAVORITE MEAL
  • SOUL SATISFYING COMFORT FOOD

Chunky vegetables and pearl barley in rich tomato broth.

Can you freeze barley soup?

Leftovers of this vegan barley soup will last in the fridge for upto 4 days. Make sure to completely cool it down before you transfer it to refrigerate.

This soup freezes well too. Once the soup has cooled completely, transfer it to freezer-safe containers leaving enough room at the top. You can keep for 3 months in freezer.

To reheat, thaw it overnight in the fridge.  Reheat in microwave or over medium heat on stove. You might have to a little more water or broth to get right consistency.

SUBSTITUES OR VARIATIONS:

Add vegetables of your choices. Mushrooms, green beans, green jackfruit or peas will work well.

Make it kitchen sink soup. All the leftover odd ends of veggies can be used.

Instead of chickpeas, black beans, white beans, edamame or any other beans will work too.

Other herbs like bay leaves, smoked paprika or marjoram. Or try cajun seasoning, taco seasoning or curry powder.

Try it with another grain like quinoa, brown rice or couscous instead of barley.

A splash of red wine, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce or chili garlic sauce can elevate the flavors to next level.

A white soup spoon scooped out of soup bowl.

WHAT IS BARLEY?

Barley is a cereal grain. Barley is considered a whole grain food full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

It resembles oats in looks and texture.  Works great in breads, soups, stews, salads, pilafs, and more. It is often sold in the grocery store near rice and dry beans.

WHAT IS PEARLED BARLEY?

Pearled barley is the barley where the outer husk and some of the bran has been removed. Pearled barley is easier and quicker to cook than regular kind.

IS BARLEY GLUTEN-FREE?

Barley does contain a small amount of gluten.  So it is not suitable for a celiac and gluten-free diet.

WHAT ARE GOOD BARLEY SUBSTITUTES?

If you’re not a fan of barley or can’t easily find it, you can use many other grains. Rice ( white or brown) farro, quinoa, couscous or wheat berries all work great.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS

I love this cozy dinner soup because I don’t have to make a bunch of sides to serve with it. I usually just serve it with fresh baguette to keep that homestyle comfort and simplicity.

Kids love it with cheese toast or garlic bread. Add some Kale Chips, simple salad or potato chips for cafe style meal.

This a fairly thick soup which fills you up well with clean healthy ingredients.

Vegan Barley Soup made in Instant Pot.

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil – skip for WFPB cooking
Shallot or onion – diced
Garlic cloves – minced
Celery- diced
Carrot – diced
Zucchini diced
Potatoes- cubed
Baby spinach
Pearled barley- rinse, wash and drain water
Garbanzo beans- rinse, wash and drain water
Fire roasted crushed tomatoes
Low sodium vegetable broth (or water)-
Italian Seasoning.
Lemon juice
Salt and Pepper per taste
Freshly grated parmesan cheese ( or nutritional yeast for vegan) for topping
Red pepper flakes, fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for garnish.

Ingredients used in making this recipe.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP

Turn your Instant Pot on to the Sauté function. Add the olive oil. Let the oil get warm in 30 seconds.

Add chopped onions. Sprinkle some salt.  Sauté on high for 2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, garlic and seasoning. Stir frequently for 3-4 minutes.

Add barley,beans and rest of the veggies ( except spinach). Stir few times so ingredients are mixed well together. (2-3 minutes )

Add vegetable broth (or water) and mix well. Deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with the spatula and making sure nothing is stuck at the bottom. Cancel Sauté function.

Place the lid on Instant Pot and move the knob to SEALING. Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK high pressure for 4 minutes.

After it is done cooking, wait for 5 minutes and do a QPR quick pressure release by moving the valve from SEALING to VENTING. Open the lid.

Add spinach and lemon juice.

Gently stir the soup using a ladle. Adjust the seasoning. Serve in a bowl. Drizzle some lemon juice, black pepper, and garnish with fresh chopped herbs.  Bon Appetit!

Process step collage showing four major steps in making this recipe.

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A dinner serving of three soup bowls full of vegetable barley soup. The soup spoons and kitchen towel is on the side.

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A dinner serving of three soup bowls full of vegetable barley soup. The soup spoons and kitchen towel is on the side.

Instant Pot Vegetable Barley Soup

Yield: 8-10 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Vegetable Barley Soup is one pot wonder meal. This comfort food classic is vegan, hearty and wholesome.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil - skip for WFPB cooking
  • 1 medium shallot -diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 stalk of celery- diced
  • 1 medium carrot - diced
  • 1 medium zucchini diced
  • 2 medium potatoes- cubed
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • 1 cup pearled barley- rinse, wash and drain water
  • 1 can ( 15 oz.)  garbanzo beans- rinse, wash and drain water
  • 1 can (15 oz. ) of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and Pepper per taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese ( or nutritional yeast for vegan) for topping
  • Red pepper flakes, fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for garnish.

Instructions

INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS :

Turn your Instant Pot on to the Sauté function. Add the olive oil. Let the oil get warm in 30 seconds. Add chopped onions. Sprinkle some salt.  Sauté on high for 2 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, garlic and seasoning. Stir frequently for 3-4 minutes. Add barley, beans and rest of the veggies ( except spinach). Stir a few times so ingredients are mixed well together. (2-3 minutes )

Add vegetable broth (or water) and mix well. Deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom with the spatula and making sure nothing is stuck at the bottom. Cancel Sauté function.

Place the lid on Instant Pot and move the knob to SEALING. Press MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK high pressure for 5 minutes.

After it is done cooking, wait for 5 minutes and do a QPR quick pressure release by moving the valve from SEALING to VENTING. Open the lid.

Add spinach and lemon juice. Gently stir the soup using a ladle.  Adjust the seasoning. Serve in a bowl. Drizzle some lemon juice, black pepper, and garnish with fresh chopped herbs.  Bon Appetit!

Directions:  Regular Stovetop

In a heavy bottom pan, add the olive oil. Once the oil heats up, add onions. Sprinkle some salt. Sauté on high for 2-3 minutes.

Add crushed tomatoes, garlic and seasoning. Let it sizzle.  Stir frequently for 3-4 minutes. Add barley,  beans and rest of the veggies ( except spinach). Stir a few times so ingredients are mixed well together. (2-3 minutes )

Add vegetable broth. (or water) Mix well. Let it come to boil on high heat. Then reduce heat, cover the pan, and let it cook for about 15 mins on medium heat.

Check and stir a few times to make sure it does not burn at the bottom. Barley should be tender, and potatoes should be soft. Turn the heat off. Serve garnished as suggested. Enjoy.

CROCK POT INSTRUCTIONS:

Follow the same directions as above. Cook on High setting for 3 hours or Low setting for 5-6 hours. 

Notes

Chop the onions, carrot, and celery and potatoes in the same sizes so they cook at the same rate.

You can adjust the amount of liquid to make it as a soup or a stew. Add some exciting toppings like cut up avocado, cheese or potato chips to make it a chili. 

This soup makes a big batch. You can use it for multiple meals.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1+ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 375mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 6gSugar: 8gProtein: 6g

Nutritional values are provided as a courtesy and the values are approximate. The values will change depending on the exact ingredients, measurements and brands used. As always, for specific health issues and dietary requirements please consult medical professional.

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Sam

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

I made this soup 3 times, I added some chicken too.my family loves it.

Velma Fletcher

Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

Made this soup a few weeks ago I loved it