French Vegetable Barley Soup

I love soup. I make this French vegetable soup almost every week in autumn. It's great with a crusty baguette or a simple sandwich. Brothy bowls of vegetable soup come to the rescue when I'm in need of something healthy and comforting. Soup-making is a gentle domestic activity that satisfies my soul. This recipe is very easy to prepare. Chop and drop cooking is all that's required.

Like most French vegetable soups, this one has leeks and shallots. Potatoes are usually added to French vegetable soups, but I've swapped them for whole grain barely. The barley gives a delicious creaminess and heartiness to the vegetable broth. Sometimes I add some corn for a pop of sweetness against the earthy barley. This soup is brimming with nutrition, vitamins and minerals.

A bowl of French vegetable and barley soup is welcome on a chilly evening. I love to serve the soup with fresh basil or dill.  Peek inside your CSA box or visit your local market to see what's in season. This soup is customizable to your liking depending on the ingredients available.

French Vegetable Barley Soup Recipe

Makes 4-6 Servings

Some Notes & Tips:

Rapunzel No Salt Vegetable Bouillon is what I use in this soup. It's a lifesaver for me. This boullion makes a pure, clean tasting and delicious broth that I just love. I learned about this product from Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks. You can also substitute your favorite vegetable broth or stock for the water and bouillon cubes. But if you're pressed for time, Rapunzel Bouillon cubes will give you a fresh tasting vegetable stock. I buy them in bulk from Amazon because I love making soup.   

Instead of broccoli, you can use spinach, bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage or green beans. Take a look at what's in your market or CSA box and have fun with this recipe. 


2 cups of chopped broccoli or cauliflower 2 carrots, peeled and chopped  2 celery stalks, chopped2 turnips, chopped 1 leek, white and light green parts rinsed well and chopped2 shallots, chopped1/2 cup of frozen corn (optional) 1/2 cup of pearled barley.  I use Arrowhead Mills Organic Pearled Barley. 5 vegetable bouillon cubes. I use Rapunzel No Salt Vegetable Bouillon.Salt to taste. I use sea salt.
To serve:

chopped fresh herbs such as basil, dill, tarragon or chivesfreshly cracked black pepper


In a soup pot add ten cups of water, the carrots, celery, turnips, leek, shallots, barley and bouillon cubes. Salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot and turn down the heat. Simmer the soup for about 40 minutes. Once the barley, carrots, turnips and leeks are soft, stir in the broccoli and the corn (if using). Simmer covered until the broccoli is bright green and tender. Adjust salt. Serve with the fresh herbs of your choice.

Bon Appetit & Blessings!
xx ~ Jilly