Adventures of Eating with dReJ: healthy, cheap, delicious

Hearty Soup for Cold Days!


Okay – I know what you are thinking. Beans and Barley? BORING?! Or for some of you who are not down with the barley – you might just be thinking it sounds gross. I have to admit that growing up, I was definitely a full paying member of that same camp.  But i’m proud to tell you that my name is Dre – and I thoroughly enjoyed the bean and barley soup. So give it a try – it really was super simple.

I’ve heard thru the grapevine (since so many *ahem* ALL of our readers refuse to comment!) that perhaps some of the recipes sound too daunting. But the whole point of this site is to be a resource and share any tips and tricks and to let you know that a real person tried the recipe and it wasn’t so bad. I always feel intimidated by new foods, new ways of chopping or roasting or something – but honestly, if you aren’t comfortable with something, just substitute how YOU usually make it and go with it. You’ll figure out if it works or not. But you won’t ever enjoy all these new delicious recipes if you don’t give them a try!

Okay – off my soup soap box and back to the recipe at hand.

Here’s the ingredients and what we changed:

6 Servings, about 1 1/3 cups each

Active Time: 30 minutes (Total Time: 2 1/4 hours) – Don’t worry you don’t have to be stirring it the whole time or anything!


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 9 cups water (this amount changes to TWO cups if you decide to use crock pot instead of stove top)
  • 4 cups (32-ounce carton) reduced-sodium chicken broth, “no-chicken” broth or vegetable broth
  • Look for the following 3 ingredients at your grocer in the canned veggies aisle – just keep going until you see the bags of beans that are NOT canned. If you have access to a healthy food store where you can go and measure your own beans out – I’d recommend doing so – because you can’t buy just 1/3 cup of any of these beans!
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/3 cup dried black beans
  • 1/3 cup dried great northern beans
  • 1/3 cup dried kidney beans
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Now for the preparation of this one – you can make it on the stove, or in a slow cooker. Be sure to look at the variation on the quick link because you use less water and it cooks for a longer time. We went for the slow cooker (crock pot) variation.

dReJ Say: This was a HIT with us. It was super hearty and therefore, very filling. Not sure if ours turned out the way it’s supposed to, because it was less soupy and more like a thick chili….but that was just fine with us. Super easy to make – and it is a perfect meal to make ahead and heat up again later at work or for dinner the next day.

dReJ Tip: If you find that yours is a bit bland – a good tip for using the slow-cooker is that you need to add more salt to bring out the flavor. So season it up a bit and you’ll be good!


Comments on: "Southwestern Bean and Barley Soup" (1)

  1. joseph said:

    i like it

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