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Acorn Squash Vegetable Barley Soup is a hearty and filling soup that you can have on the table in less than an hour. Full of healthy vegetables, chewy barley, and spices, it is a soup you can enjoy with a green leafy salad and a muffin.
This Mediterranean acorn squash vegetable soup recipe is for a meatless soup that includes acorn squash, a variety of vegetables, and quick-cooking barley. It is a soup you can have on the table in just about 30 minutes.
If you are following the Mediterranean Diet, while nothing is restricted on the diet, it does encourage eating more vegetables, less red meat, and more whole grains. This soup recipe fits the bill.
For this Mediterranean Barley Soup recipe, barley also adds a chewy texture to the soup that replaces pasta or noodles.
To learn more about including whole grains in your diet, read my post, Get the Scoop on Whole Grains.
Step 1. Peel and chop acorn squash, carrots, celery, and onions. Mince garlic. Set acorn squash aside.
Step 2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add carrots, celery, and onions. Cook and stir for 3-5 minutes until vegetables start to brown. Stir in garlic.
Step 3. Add vegetable broth, 6 cups of water, a can of tomatoes, vegetable juice, and Worcestershire sauce to the Dutch oven. Stir in barley.
Step 4. Bring to a boil and then lower the temperature to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 5. Add in acorn squash and continue to simmer for 10 minutes until vegetables are fork-tender.
Step 6. Add a drained can of cut green beans, dried basil, marjoram, and pepper—heat through for 5 minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese.
This is a one-pot recipe. Simple ingredients combine for a flavorful and filling soup.
Acorn Squash: substitute butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips, or young turnips.
Vegetable Broth: substitute beef or chicken broth.
Petite Diced Tomatoes: I prefer this more finely chopped canned tomato. You can use whatever style of cut tomato you have in your pantry. Don't care for tomatoes? Simply leave them out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Barley is a cereal whole grain. Including whole grains in your diet provides fiber.
Regularly including whole grains in your diet may help decrease cholesterol and regulate your blood sugar.1
This recipe uses quick-cooking pearl barley. Pearl barley has removed the indigestible outer husk and bran layer. It is lighter in color and cooks quicker than hulled barley.
If you want to use hulled barley in this recipe you will need to cook it for one hour compared to 10-20 minutes.
If you have experience peeling an acorn squash, you know the skin is really tough.
A tip to make the job easier is to pierce the skin with a fork all around and then cook in a microwave for 3 minutes. Rotate and cook for another 3 minutes. Once it cools, chop the squash in half, and clean out the inside seeds. Peel the squash and chop it into strips or 1-inch cubes.
Time Saver: For this recipe, I picked up pre-cut acorn squash at the grocery store. A big-time saver.
Store vegetable barley soup covered in the refrigerator and enjoy for up to 5 days after preparation. This soup can also be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw and reheat.
What to Serve with Barley Soup
Serve vegetable soup with acorn squash with a leafy green salad dressed with Homemade Ranch Dressing and a roll or muffin.
Other Healthy Soup Recipes for You
October 2022 Update: minor recipe post updates.