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Warming Barley and Vegetable Soup

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“This is brilliant for Weight Watchers and is tasty even for those not watching their waistlines! The whole recipe, made as written, provides 15 points. I find it makes 6 bowls, so it's only 2.5 points per bowl. It's so filling that you won't be hungry until your next meal! It's worth including the parsnip in this recipe even though they can be hard to find as its flavour shines through in this dish. Make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable stock rather than chicken stock.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 cup pearl barley, uncooked
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 leeks, finely chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and finely chopped
  • 34 cup peas
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 chicken stock cube (or other preferred seasoning)
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Rinse the pearl barley in water. You may need to soak it if the package directions recommend it. Otherwise try to find a "no-soak" variety.
  2. Put the pearl barley and chicken stock in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Skim off any scum.
  3. Stir in all the vegetables from carrots to garlic. Crumble in the stock cube (I use this purely to add flavour- you could use another seasoning mix).
  4. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour. The vegetables should be covered by enough liquid throughout- add more stock or water if they are not.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick for your liking, stir in a small amount of water or milk.
  6. Serve hot and enjoy!

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