A brown bowl full of hearty Winter Vegetable Soup. Swollen grains of barley and small cubes of winter vegetables are visible in the soup.
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4.78 from 9 votes

Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup

Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup, brimming with seasonal root vegetables, makes a filling vegan meal for the cooler weather. The pearl barley adds a creaminess & richness to the broth without the use of dairy.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: hearty vegetable soup recipe, winter vegetable soup
Servings: 6
Calories: 230kcal
Author: Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery finely diced
  • 1 swede (rutabaga) peeled and finely diced
  • 1 turnip peeled and finely diced
  • 1 parsnip peeled and finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon rosemary finely chopped
  • 10 sage leaves finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 205 g (1 cup) pearled barley soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 1/2 Litres (6 cups) vegetable stock
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley.


  • Place a large pot on a medium heat.
  • Add the olive oil and onion.
  • Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, or until it has softened and started to brown.
  • Add the remainder of the vegetables, and saute for a further 5 minute or until the vegetables have softened slightly.
  • Stir in the rosemary, sage, bay leaves and barley.
  • Add the vegetable stock, season with salt & pepper, and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat, and allow the soup to simmer for about 40 - 50 minutes, or until the barley is cooked. Check the liquid level occasionally, and top up with hot water or more stock if the soup appears too thick.
  • Stir through the chopped parsley, and check the seasonings.
  • Serve with crusty bread.


  1. You can use any mix of root vegetables in this soup, although a larger variety makes for a tastier soup.
  2. Chop all of the vegetables into 5mm cubes, or not much bigger than a swollen barley grain. 
  3. Barley readily absorbs liquid, and the soup will thicken considerably upon standing.  Add a little more stock or water as the soup reheats to thin it out again.
  4. This soup freezes well, although it will be quite thick once defrosted. Just add a little more stock or water as you reheat it. 
  5. The soup will last for up to three days in the fridge, and up to four months in the freezer.


Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.7g | Protein: 5.3g | Fat: 5.5g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 83.8mg | Sugar: 6.8g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 41.3mg