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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.