An easy homemade vegetable soup packed full of flavour, super comforting and containing lentils and barley to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Vegetable soup is one of those cheap and easy to make meals that is perfectly satisfying for the cooler weather, and makes a large batch that keeps getting better with each bowl of leftovers.
I never really thought of myself as a soup person. I always thought of soup as leaving me feeling hungry and dissatisfied however that all changed when I started looking at soups that were full of hearty ingredients. This soup is closer in texture to a stew in that it’s chunky and thick and that makes it perfect if like me, you want some structure to your soup.
Vegetable soup also has a reputation for being boring and bland, but let me tell you that this soup is anything but. It has so much flavour thanks to all the vegetables, and a generous seasoning of herbs.
It might be spring time here in Australia now, but I am making the most of the lingering cooler evenings. Although, as the weather warms up we can always turn on the air con and then enjoy this soup year round!
Vegetable Soup Ingredients
The full ingredients list and quantities are listed below in the printable recipe card, but don’t let the length of the list put you off, this soup is made with a few simple ingredients to ensure max flavour.
- Carrots, onions, celery and garlic. The ultimate flavour base get’s our soup off the ground.
- Tomato paste and dried herbs. I use thyme, oregano and basil for that Italian style flavour and cook this down with the tomato paste before adding in the liquid.
- Potatoes, parsnip and swede (rutabaga). I like to use this combination of root vegetables to bulk out the soup and the starch from the potatoes helps with thickening the soup. You can replace the parsnip and swede with an additional potato if you want. Sweet potato would also be a nice substitute.
- Soup mix. Soup mix can be purchased in the supermarket for less than $2 and is a mix of legumes and grains, usually split peas, barley, lentils. If you can’t find it you can use either all barley or half barley, half lentils.
- Stock and water. I use a combination of both for the soup. Use vegetable stock for vegetarian/vegan, otherwise chicken stock also works. Make sure to use a good quality brand as this helps ensure a stronger flavour through the soup.
- Salt and pepper. Seasoning is so important to the flavour of this soup. Be generous with the salt and this will enhance the flavour, and be sure to taste it before serving to make sure the flavour is just right.
- Frozen peas. I like to finish off my soup by stirring through some frozen peas at the end. You don’t want to add them earlier as they will over cook and get mushy. Stir through until heated through for some extra colour and texture.
How to make this healthy vegetable soup
Like all good soups, this one starts with the sauteing of onions, carrots and celery. We are also adding a couple of cloves of garlic for extra flavour. Once the onions are soft, add in the tomato paste and the herbs and continue to saute until the tomato paste starts to caramelise and everything smells delicious.
This step of letting the herbs and tomato paste cook down a little bit before adding in the stock really helps with developing the complex flavour of this soup.
Add in the rest of the chopped vegetables and the soup mix. I like using soup mix as it provides a good variation to the soup, with the lentils helping to create a nice thick, hearty texture, and the barley making it full of fibre and ensuring it keeps you feeling satisfied.
Finally add your stock and water and bring to the boil. Turn down and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the barley is tender. Add the frozen peas and stir through the soup to heat them.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. With a large batch of soup like this, you want to be generous with the salt and you will use more than you think but it’s SO essential in order to bring out the most of the flavour.
How long does homemade soup last?
This vegetable soup will last up to 5 days in the fridge making it perfect for meal prep so that you always have something healthy on hand for lunch or dinner.
You can also freeze the soup in individual portions for up to 3 months if you’re not keen on eating leftovers all week.
When reheating the soup, if you find it has become too thick, you can add an additional ¼ cup of water per serve to thin it out a bit and stretch the leftovers a little further.
Serve this soup on its own, topped with some fresh parsley, or with some crusty bread to sop up all the liquid from the bowl leaving nothing behind.
As written this soup is vegan making it a great hearty alternative to meat filled stews. It’s also dairy free which means most people are able to enjoy a big bowl of this soul-warming soup.
This soup is the perfect way to warm up during the cooler months and is a great way to enjoy a healthy dose of vegetables. There really is nothing quite like a homemade soup from scratch and this recipe is so easy and full of basic, low cost ingredients that it’s sure to become a favourite.
If you do make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and rating below! And tag any of your creations on Instagram with #eightforestlane as I would love to see.
Healthy Vegetable Soup with Lentils and Barley
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 large carrots
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1-2 potatoes
- 1 swede
- 1 parsnip
- 1 cup dried soup mix or a combination of lentils and barley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup frozen peas
- chopped parsley to serve
- Peel and dice the onion and garlic. Add the onion, garlic, and olive oil to a large soup pot and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.
- While the onions are cooking, peel and dice the carrots and chop the celery. Once the onions are soft, add the carrots and celery to the pot. Add in the tomato paste and herbs and stir through, cooking until fragrant.
- Peel and chop the remaining vegetables and add to the pot along with the soup mix, stirring to combine.
- Add stock, water and salt and pepper. Mix through and bring to the boil. Cover and turn the heat down to a low simmer for about 30 minutes or until the barley and lentils are soft.
- Add in frozen peas and stir to heat through. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with chopped parsley if desired.