Photo: Karry Hosford
8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup soup and 1 tablespoon cheese)

This satisfying bean and barley soup features a delicious and iron-packed combination of red kidney beans and spinach. It's also high in fiber and calcium.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15 minutes. Drain through a sieve into a large bowl; discard solids.

Step 2

Measure 1 cup beans, and mash with a fork in a small bowl. Reserve the remaining whole beans.

Step 3

Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions, carrot, and celery; cook 4 minutes. Add broth mixture, mashed beans, whole beans, tomatoes, and barley; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and black pepper; cook 5 minutes or until barley is tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Chef's Notes

To ensure rich flavor, add garlic and herbs to canned broth for a homemade taste. Mashing a portion of the beans gives the soup extra body.

Ratings & Reviews

LauraB08's Review

November 02, 2014
This soup gets huge points for being so tasty AND healthy. I leave out the celery and don't see the point of mashing the beans, but otherwise I make it exactly, and it's fantastic. I'll probably leave the solids next time, though.

brighteyes8's Review

February 10, 2014
Hearty and satisfying! Not too hard either. I threw my pearled barley in at the beginning and fished the garlic out with a spoon later. That gave the barley enough time to cook. I had an extra poblano pepper so I cut that up and threw it in with the onions, carrots, and celery. I might add more rosemary and salt, but other than that, delicious!

KeepontryingM's Review

November 09, 2013
I didn't find that this had much flavor. But it was very hearty and filling.

Jazzy1's Review

March 05, 2013
This soup is SO good. I used pearl barley and cooked until the barley was tender. 15 minutes is not nearly enough cooking time. As noted the soup was more like stew with 7 cups of broth. I added more broth after it was finished cooking to bring it to a more soupy consistency. I ended up with 10 cups of soup, so I froze some for later. This is delicious and makes a great lunch.

Dab602's Review

February 04, 2013
Did not think it was a recipe deserving 5 stars. Barley gave it a starchy flavor. Not bad but ok

nameofcook's Review

January 21, 2013
This was a hit with the whole family (including 6 and 8 year old). I added an extra cup of broth as others suggested. Great soup to warm us all up and the kids didn't complain at all about eating their veggies! :) I served with beer bread and orange wedges.

chef4myboys's Review

December 15, 2012

QueeTheBean's Review

December 01, 2012
Delicious and hearty on a cold winter night. I let mine simmer a little too long & it turned into more of a stew. I ended up adding some extra broth to thin it out a bit. I was able to find quick-cook barley at our local Shop Rite.

jesse22's Review

November 14, 2012
This is the first time I've written a review, but just had to. This soup is delicious!! I used 8 cups of broth, an extra 1/2 cup of white kidney beans, and frozen chopped spinach. Will def make again, and again...

KitchenCat's Review

April 11, 2012
This soup is SO good. I used pearl barley and followed previous advice to cook for 45 mins instead of 15. I also used 8 cups of broth instead of 7 and added a little more when reheated the next day. I also love that this is so healthy. This is a go-to cold weather recipe.