Apple Barley Soup Recipe - Vegetarian Food

Apple Barley Soup

Apple Barley Soup Recipe - Vegetarian Food
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour and 20 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Apple Barley Soup
Apple Barley Soup

The Apple Barley Soup is a delightful and nutritious dish that combines the sweet and tangy flavors of apples with the hearty, chewy texture of barley. This soup is perfect for those chilly days when you need something warming and comforting. It's a vegetarian recipe that's packed with flavors and nutrients, making it a great addition to your meal rotation.


The origins of Apple Barley Soup can be traced back to the culinary traditions of Europe, where both apples and barley have been staple ingredients for centuries. This soup is a modern take on traditional barley soups, incorporating apples for a unique twist. It reflects the creativity of home cooks who experimented with local ingredients to create nourishing and flavorful dishes.


How to prepare

  1. In a small soup pot, sauté onions in oil over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and cook, stirring frequently for 10 minutes or until onions are browned.
  3. Add stock, cider, barley, carrots, thyme, marjoram, and bay leaf.
  4. Cover and cook for one hour or until barley is tender.
  5. Add apples, parsley, and lemon juice.
  6. Cook for 5 minutes or until apples are slightly soft.
  7. Discard bay leaf and serve.


  • For a non-vegetarian version, add diced cooked chicken or turkey. You can also swap apple cider with white wine for a different flavor profile or add other vegetables like celery or sweet potatoes.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To enhance the flavor of the soup, consider caramelizing the onions until they are deeply golden; this adds a rich, sweet depth. Soaking the barley overnight can reduce cooking time and make it more digestible. For a smoother texture, blend part of the soup before adding the apples.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Apple Barley Soup hot, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or a dollop of yogurt for creaminess. It pairs well with crusty bread or a green salad for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is the slow cooking of barley and vegetables, which allows the flavors to meld beautifully. Sautéing the onions until caramelized also adds a depth of flavor that enhances the overall dish.

Ingredient Substitutions

If apple cider is not available, apple juice or even vegetable broth can be used. Quinoa can replace barley for a gluten-free option, and any type of oil can be used in place of vegetable oil.

Make Ahead Tips

This soup can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The flavors often improve with time, making it a great option for meal prep.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the soup in a hollowed-out apple for a dramatic presentation, or garnish with apple slices and a sprig of fresh thyme for a simple yet elegant touch.

Pairing Recommendations

This soup pairs beautifully with a crisp, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a light-bodied Chardonnay. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling apple cider complements the flavors of the soup.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store the soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding a little water or vegetable stock if it has thickened too much.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A serving of this soup contains approximately 200 calories, making it a light yet satisfying option for a meal or starter.


This Apple Barley Soup is a good source of carbohydrates, primarily from the barley and apples. A serving contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates, providing energy and fiber.


The soup is low in fats, with only about 5 grams per serving, mainly from the vegetable oil used for sautéing the onions. It's a heart-healthy choice that fits well into a balanced diet.


Each serving of the soup provides about 4 grams of protein, coming from the barley. While not high in protein, it can be complemented with a side of bread or a salad with nuts and seeds for a protein boost.

Vitamins and minerals

Apple Barley Soup is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C from apples, vitamin A from carrots, and various B vitamins from barley. It also contains minerals like potassium and magnesium, contributing to a balanced diet.


This recipe is free from common allergens like dairy, nuts, and gluten (if gluten-free barley is used). However, those with specific food sensitivities should always check individual ingredient labels.


Overall, Apple Barley Soup is a nutritious dish that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, low fats, moderate fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. It's a wholesome choice for those seeking a healthy and flavorful meal.


Apple Barley Soup is a versatile, nutritious, and delicious dish that combines the sweet and tangy flavors of apples with the hearty texture of barley. It's a comforting meal that's perfect for any season, offering a good balance of nutrients and flavors. Whether you're looking for a light lunch or a satisfying dinner, this soup is sure to please.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was a chilly autumn day, and I had just returned home from a trip to the local farmers market. As I unpacked my bags full of fresh produce, I came across a small, handwritten note tucked away in the bottom of one of the bags. It read:

"To make Apple Barley Soup:

- 1 cup barley

- 6 cups chicken broth

- 2 apples, peeled and diced

- 1 onion, chopped

- 2 carrots, diced

- 2 celery stalks, chopped

- 1 teaspoon thyme

- Salt and pepper to taste"

I was intrigued by the simplicity of the recipe and the combination of ingredients. I had never heard of Apple Barley Soup before, but I was excited to give it a try. I immediately set to work gathering all the necessary ingredients and preparing them for the soup.

As I chopped the apples, onions, carrots, and celery, I couldn't help but think back to all the different recipes I had learned over the years. Some were handed down from my own mother, while others were shared with me by friends and neighbors. Cooking had always been a passion of mine, and I loved the way it brought people together and created memories that would last a lifetime.

Once everything was prepped, I poured the chicken broth into a large pot and added the barley, apples, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, salt, and pepper. I brought the mixture to a boil, then reduced the heat and let it simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

The aroma that wafted through my kitchen as the soup cooked was simply divine. The sweet scent of apples mixed with the earthy aroma of the barley and vegetables created a comforting and warm atmosphere that made me feel right at home.

When the soup was finally ready, I ladled it into bowls and garnished it with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. I took a tentative sip, unsure of what to expect. But as soon as the warm, savory broth hit my lips, I knew I had stumbled upon something truly special.

The combination of flavors in the Apple Barley Soup was unlike anything I had ever tasted before. The sweetness of the apples paired perfectly with the nutty flavor of the barley, while the vegetables added a hearty and wholesome element to the dish. It was a perfect balance of sweet and savory, light yet filling, and utterly delicious.

I couldn't wait to share this newfound recipe with my family and friends. I knew they would love it just as much as I did, and that it would quickly become a staple in our household.

From that day on, Apple Barley Soup became a beloved recipe in my repertoire. I made it on cold winter nights to warm us up from the inside out, and on lazy Sunday afternoons when we craved something comforting and cozy.

As the years went by, I continued to experiment with the recipe, adding my own personal touches and variations to make it even more unique and special. But no matter how many times I made it or how much I tweaked the ingredients, the memory of finding that simple, handwritten note at the farmers market always remained close to my heart.

And so, the story of how I learned to make Apple Barley Soup became yet another cherished tale in my collection of culinary adventures. It was a reminder of the joy and satisfaction that cooking brought me, and the way in which food had the power to connect us to our past, our present, and our loved ones.

As I sit down to enjoy a steaming bowl of Apple Barley Soup once again, I can't help but feel grateful for all the recipes I have learned and all the memories I have created in the kitchen. Each dish tells a story, and each taste brings me back to a different time and place.

And as I take that first delicious spoonful of soup, I know that this recipe, like so many others, will continue to be passed down through the generations, bringing joy and nourishment to all those who are lucky enough to taste it.


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