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Acorn Squash and 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 and flavor, it is a soup you can enjoy with a green leafy salad and a muffin.
Over this winter I have made several different broth-based soups including Turkey Meatball and Kale Soup and Chicken Noodle. I was looking for something a little different.
This recipe is for a meatless soup that includes acorn squash, a variety of vegetables and quick-cooking barley.
Mediterranean Style Soup
We have been following the Mediterranean Diet and while nothing is really restricted on the diet, it does encourage vegetables and eating less meat. Finding a meatless recipe is a score.
The Mediterranean diet also encourages eating more whole grains. Barley fits the bill.
Barley is a cereal whole grain. Including whole grains in your diet provides fiber in your diet. When you include regularly in your diet whole grains may help decrease blood cholesterol and regulate your blood sugar.1
For this 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.
Ingredients for Vegetable Barley Soup
This vegetable barley soup is a one pot soup. Simple ingredients ensure a quick preparation.
The first ingredient in this recipe is acorn squash. If you have had 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, it is easier to remove the skin and chop the squash.
Time Saver: For this recipe, I picked up pre-cut acorn squash at the grocery store. A big time saver.
For barley I used quick cooking pearl variety (#ad). It is ready in about 10 minutes.
Vegetables include a can of Petite Diced Tomatoes, a can of cut green beans carrots, celery, garlic, and onion.
Water, chicken broth, and vegetable juice combine for the soup liquid.
Flavor is added with Worcestershire sauce, basil, marjoram, and pepper.
Substitutions for Acorn Squash and Vegetable Barley Soup
This is a one pot recipe. Simple ingredients combine for a flavorful and filling soup.
Acorn Squash: substitute a sweet potato, parsnips, or young turnips.
Chicken Broth: substitute beef broth or for a meatless soup, vegetable 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.
Add a garnish of shredded parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
Store Vegetable Barley Soup in the refrigerator and enjoy up to 5 days after preparation.
Other Healthy Soup Options
January 2021 Update: post was updated with images, Soup Ingredients, Helpful Substitutions, Storage, and Healthy Soup Options.