Low-carb adventures: vegetable barley soup

A large bowl of vegetable barley soupIn my quest for low carb-friendly comfort foods, I got thinking about the things  I loved when I was a child. One of those things was my mom’s beef barley soup. It was to die for! I miss that soup and wanted to capture that again, except that I had no beef in the house for  it. Broth, yes. Meat, no. Well, why not make  it without the meat? Despite there being no meat in it, I found this soup to be insanely satisfying and filling. Next time, I might even add some more veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower to add some texture to it. Here’s what I did:


    • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 Tbsp butter

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 C carrots, cut into coins (I used baby carrots)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried rosemary leaves (ground up a bit finer in a mortar and pestle)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp Mrs Dash Table Blend seasoning
  • 1/2 C white wine (optional: could use water or broth)
  • 3 Tbsp Bullseye Guinness Barbecue Sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 C pearl barley (uncooked)
  • 4 C low sodium beef broth
  • 6 C water + 1 Knorr’s Homestyle beef stock ‘pot’ (could use 6 more cups of reduced sodium beef broth but I ran out)
  • 1.5 C shredded cabbage
  • 1 C frozen peas
  • 1/2 can corn niblets


  1. In a large Dutch oven pot, melt butter and heat oil over a medium heat.
  2. Add onions and saute until they start to soften.
  3. Add the carrots, celery, rosemary, thyme, paprika, Mrs Dash & stir to mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes until vegetables get soft.
  4. Deglaze with the wine (or water/broth).
  5. Add barbecue sauce, Worcestershire, barley, broth, water, stock pot and cabbage.
  6. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes.
  7. Add peas and corn and heat through another 5 minutes or so.
  8. Serve piping hot!

You should be able to freeze this in small portions to take to work for lunches through the week and just microwave it.

Warning: You might want to choose not to add corn. I find that second day, the corn overpowers the broth flavouring, making it -very- sweet. Up to you!

Makes: Approximately 12 servings
Serving: About 1 cup

Calories: 106
Carbs: 15g
Fat: 3g
Protein: 3g
Sodium: 410mg
Sugars: 5g

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