Budget vegan recipe: Vegetable Barley Soup

Chunky Vegetable Barley Soup
  • Total recipe cost | R 31.27
  • Servings | 6
  • Portion cost | R 5.21

It may not look like much, but this super filling vegan soup is filled with flavour -and it really only takes a few simple ingredients. How great is that?

Vegetable Barley Soup

Vegan Barley Soup

It’s the easy, filling vegan soup recipe you’ve been waiting for. Filled with chunky vegetables, this meal takes some time, but hardly any effort.

Yields: 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil | R 0.81
  • 1 onion, chopped | R 1.75
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced | R 1.20
  • 3 carrots, diced | R 2.34
  • 400 grams tomatoes, chopped | R 6.00
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs | R 1.00
  • 6 cups beef-flavoured stock | R 5.68
  • 2 cups water | R 0.00
  • 1 cup pearled barley | R 5.00
  • 1 potato, diced | R 1.75
  • 1 cup frozen peas | R 4.95
  • ¼ teaspoon salt | R 0.01
  • 1 dash black pepper | R 0.26
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar | R 0.52

Cook the onions and garlic | Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring as needed for 4-5 minutes, until the onion is soft.

Make soup base | Add the remaining oil to the pot; then add the carrots, tomatoes, herbs, stock, water and pearled barley. Cover the pot. When the soup begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low (and keep the lid on). Cook, stirring as needed for 25 minutes.

Add the potatoes and peas | Add the potatoes, replace the lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes, or until heated through.

Final touches | Taste and add the salt and pepper if needed, followed by the vinegar. Stir through, then serve, divided between bowls.

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 55 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Recipe tips

Don’t worry about peeling your veggies | No really, not even the carrots. Just give them a quick wash and get on with the chopping.

If you’re tired of chopping | You could always substitute a can of chopped tomatoes, but that’ll raise the cost to R 41.76 – for a portion cost of R 6.96. That’s still pretty cheap. 

If you don’t have any apple cider vinegar | Use whatever vinegar or lemon juice you have on hand. It enhances the richness of the tomatoes. 

If you don’t have Italian herbs | Substitute any combination of dried basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary. It’s much the muchness. 

Vegetable Barley Soup Recipe

How to make this vegan recipe even cheaper

It’s really difficult to make this soup much cheaper, but you could try these options:

  • Use more water and less stock. As long as there’s a fair amount of the stock, you’ll get a good flavour. 
  • Mix and match veggies based on what’s in season – and about to go off in your fridge. Just about anything will work in this vegan barley soup. 

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