Springtime Barley and Vegetable Soup

This soup is a real winner for the springtime and will make you feel amazing! It is light and nourishing, and brings us into balance after the heavier foods of winter. Whole barley grain supports the digestion, and when it is cooked together with vegetables into a creamy soup, it is gently delicious and can be eaten often (not only in springtime!). If you cook a larger amount of barley you can store the part you don’t use it in the refrigerator to use another time.
Course Lunch, Soup
Cuisine Macrobiotic
Servings 4 people


  • 1 cup Whole (pot) barley Soaked overnight in 4 cups of water and rinsed.
  • 4 cup Water
  • 1 piece Kombu sea vegetable
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1/4 Swede
  • 1 Leek
  • 1/2 Red pepper
  • 2 stalks Celery
  • Fresh or dried thyme
  • Water to cover
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbs Barley or white miso
  • Chopped parsley for garnish


  • Pressure cook the soaked and rinsed barley, kombu and water for 1 hour. (If you don’t have a pressure cooker you can boil (simmer), but for longer.
  • Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables by washing and then dicing into small squares. Starting with the onions, followed by the carrots and so on, sautee the vegetables on a gentle heat with the seasalt until they are lightly cooked (about 10 mins).
  • Then combine the vegetables with some of the cooked barley, add water to cover and some fresh thyme, and simmer on a lowish flame until creamy (about 20 mins). Stir from time to time to make sure it does not burn or stick on the bottom of the pan.
  • Mash the miso in some of the soup liquid and add to the soup and simmer for a further short time.
  • Add the parsley when you serve. If you want the soup to be more liquid, add more veggie stock or water. It is nice thick, like a stew, or thinner, like a soup – you choose! Enjoy!


If you cannot find pot barley, then use pearl barley (less fibre and minerals though.) It is fine to change the vegetables and create your own version! You can also add leftover beans to make a one-pot meal.