Gluten-free, Soups, Stews and Sandwiches, Vegan/Vegetarian

Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul

Loreto January 19, 2020

Jump To Recipe

Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul,  loaded with lots of great ingredients while simmered low and slow for a result that will soothe your soul. Furthermore, want a soup that has texture, incredible flavor, and a whole lotta love? Add in the fact it being scrumptious and healthy, consequently, then this is a soup for you! Warm up to an Italian classic today!

Song of the day: “Back to Life” by Soul 11 Soul.

Barley Minestrone-on the plate closeup

Time to use up, not waste…………

Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul!  Why let things in the fridge and pantry go to waste when you can cook up a soup that has lots of vitamins and minerals, flavor and texture, and looks delightful. This soup is inspired by memories of my life growing up and those cold winter days. The relief smelling the aroma of a good minestrone simmering away in our Italian kitchen. Today is your lucky day! We can make it together!

Beyond Cold Season………………………..

I don’t know about you and where you’re from, but this year has been brutal for flu and colds. Perhaps it was the warm start to winter or maybe there are just more nasty bugs floating in the air. It doesn’t really matter, the thing that is important is to take care of ourselves meaning:

  • Good sleep habits
  • Good eats
  • Good exercise, physically and mentally
  • Good beliefs

Have I hit those four ‘goods’ well? Not really, but I am continually working at them. I was doing well physically, however experiencing the hospital with my mom, furthermore being around many sick people, my body finally gave up and I was down for the ten counts. Four or so days off work which is very unusual for me and feeling wiped out and at home.

As a result, experiencing some restlessness. However, I did take opportunities to just rest and let things be at peace.

The Solution: Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul……………………….

I decided to make some soup that would be good for my body, mind, and soul  What I came up with was this Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul!

It was inspired by my parents and those lovely minestrones they would make on the coldest of winter days using garden vegetables grown in our very own garden and put into bags then frozen. Oh, how I remember the windows with a sheet of frost covering them, as the cold air of the window met the steam of the soup simmering. The aroma and steam made me feel warm inside and I could not wait to wrap my hands around that bowl and have some!

All I can say was this bowl of soup fed my soul and took the chill of winter off my mind completely! 

A Blanket of Shear Winter Chill……………………………………….

We have had the coldest temperatures ever, and as a matter of fact, we were the coldest place on earth. One night it hit -50 degrees Celcius, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! The good thing about being sick during this time was I didn’t have to spend much time in the deep freeze. All I could think about was making a good plate of minestrone and also I could use up many things lingering in the fridge and pantry. After all our mantra is waste not want not!

So, without further ado, let’s get into the kitchen together and I will show you how to make a wonderful soup we call Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul!

Barley Minestrone-prep

Let’s look at our line up of ingredients……….
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Turnips
  • Acorn squash
  • Potatoes
  • Bean Medley
  • Rapini
  • Peas
  • Barley
  • Garlic
For Seasoning…………
  • Dried chili flakes
  • Fresh parsley
  • Bay leaf
  • Salt, fresh cracked pepper, onion and garlic powder, paprika
  • Dried rosemary and oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Drizzling of e.v.o. oil
To Bring it all Together…………………
  • Vegetable broth

Barley Minestrone-veggies in the pot

Let’s get into the process of making this Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul…………….
  1. Firstly you want to get all your veggies diced except for the peas, of course. They are beautiful just the way they are!
  2. Secondly, rapini needs to be washed, cleaned, and blanched, then chopped up.
  3. Thirdly, time to get that oil and butter heated up and in goes the garlic and chili flakes to flavor the mix. Time to throw all the diced veggies into the pot and season with all those lovely flavors!

Wow, that aroma is just fabulous, makes me want to sing………. “Memories just like the ones we used to know…………. painter water colored memories…….. la la la la la“, lol.

Okay let’s recap:

  1. veggies are sauteing, getting all flavored up with the seasonings, and have been simmering for about 20 minutes. Consequently, time to add the beans. There was a can of the mixed bean medley in the pantry that has everything under the sun in beans. Chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, etc, etc. I think you’re getting the best of it, lots of legumes, lol. Hence, in they go!
  2. Time for the broth and in it goes to bring all of this menagerie together in a loving pot of soul food!
Hey, how about the rapini and peas?………………………..

Hold on, we are getting to that. This has to simmer for a time or until the potatoes and turnips are fork-tender.

Okay, now the rapini and peas, and we are almost done this Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul……
  1. Now that the Minestrone has had time to mingle and get all pumped up with flavor, it is time to add the rapini and then the peas. 
  2. Finally, a low simmer for a time. This soup just needs a garnish of fresh chopped parsley and a grating of Parmigiano Reggiano! In true Italian fashion, we have to drizzle some olive oil. Hence we are done! Yessssss! Probably a good time to get a spoon, lol.


I am so craving this Minestrone, my mouth is watering……………………….

It is time to plate up the soup. This looks so hearty, comforting and outrageously scrumptious! All we need now is a bit of red wine because they say a glass of red wine a day keeps the doctor away! Lol.

Barley Minestrone-two plates and the pot 

Soup’s on!…………………….

Does that not look just so inviting and comforting? Similarly, I am feeling the warm and fuzzies all over. Oh, wait, that may be the wine…… Kidding!

My first spoonful in and I feel like someone has wrapped a warm blanket of goodness all around me. The beans are fantastic tender but not mushy and still holding a bit. Let’s talk potatoes, soft billowy as they dissipate on my tongue. The rapini offers a nice raw earthy acidic punch while the peas, in contrast, soothe that with their sweetness.

Everything in this soup is amazing: carrots, parsnips, celery, onion, and also that sweetness of the garlic which I consequently took out so no one gets one huge mouthful of garlic flavor in one bite.

Barley beautiful Barley……………

Those pearls of starchy al dente goodness take this minestrone to another level. It’s so simple yet total texture and flavor booster because we want to take this soup where no man or woman has gone before!

Subtle hits……………

However, those little hits of the squash with that buttery nuttiness are a welcome balance to this healthy hearty menagerie of foodie love! I taste the subtle hints of oregano, rosemary, and bay leaf which add beautiful dimension to a wonderful most noteworthy soup. Similarly, the little bit of heat is nice too! Not too hot and not too subtle, but just right!

Final thoughts……………

Flu season is truly upon us. Brutally cold days have landed and consequently, you are at home, sick. You have been resting, keeping a positive healing attitude, only one thing to do, prepare some good healthy food because it is going to give you the fuel to knock those nasty bugs into oblivion! Give it a try and treat yourself to some good food vibrations! A well-deserved thing in these cold dark days of winter. Above all else, cook up a crockpot of this Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul!


Song of the day: “Back to Life” by Soul 11 Soul.

Barley Minestrone-on the plate closeup

Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8 people 1x
  • Category: Soup, Vegetarian
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Italian


Barley Minestrone Medley, my Soup for the Soul!  Why let things in the fridge and pantry go to waste when you can cook up a soup that has lots of vitamins and minerals, flavor and texture, and looks delightful. This soup is inspired by memories growing up and those cold winter days. The relief smelling the aroma of a good minestrone simmering away in our Italian kitchen. Let’s make it together!


The veggies:

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 2 large potatoes peeled and diced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, washed and diced
  • 1/2 cup Acorn squash cored, peeled, and  diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 x 450 ml can of mixed beans
  • A bundle of rapini, washed and cleaned
  • 1/2 cup of peas


  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • Pinch of dried rosemary and oregano
  • 4 Tbsp e.v.o. oil
  • 1 tsp each salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika

The liquid:

  • 9 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water


  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Drizzling of e.v.o. oil



  1. Bring a large pot of water on boil.
  2. Take the cleaned and drained rapini and place it into a pot of boiling water. Blanche for 10 minutes then drain and set aside to cool.


  1. In a large crock pot heat up olive oil, chili flakes, and garlic.
  2. Toss in diced vegetables and bay leaves, excluding the rapini, beans, and peas. Saute on medium heat for 15 minutes.
  3. Add in beans and saute on medium heat for another 10 minutes.
  4. Season with all the spices, stir and mix until seasoning is well incorporated.
  5. Toss in the barley and get it all coated with the flavors and oil of the mixture.

Broth Time:

  1. Pour in all the broth and stir frequently. Bring heat to a low and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
  2. Take a knife or pair of scissors and cut up blanched rapini. Throw into the simmering pot of minestrone.
  3. Also throw in peas and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. If the minestrone is too thick add in the water and stir and let simmer a bit more.


  1. Ladle soup into bowls. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and grated Parmigiano.
  2. Finish with a drizzle of e.v.o. oil.
  3. Ready to serve.



  1. As far as the vegetables, you can use what is in your fridge. Minestrone is just a combination of vegetables.
  2. Make sure to stir frequently as the barley has a tendency  of staying and sticking to the bottom. As a result, this will prevent it from burning and ruining the whole pot of soup.
  3. You can also use whatever broth you desire: vegetable, chicken, beef, because you can.
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

Here’s another Minestrone recipe with amazing flavors:

Minestrone with Cannellini Beans and Pesto

Minestrone with Cannellini beans and pesto

You Might Also Like


  • Avatar
    Reply Bernice Hill January 20, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    I love any soup with barley in it! This one looks so warming and satisfying. Perfect for the next cold snap!!

  • Loreto Nardelli
    Reply Loreto Nardelli January 20, 2020 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks Bernice!
    Yes Barley has that texture that is so pleasing to the pallet and the flavor nutty and delicious. A perfect compliment to everything that is going on in this minestrone!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sharon January 20, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    A big pot of soup is just what the colder weather calls for. I love how loaded up wtih hearty beans and lots of vegetables.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks Sharon and I totally agree. I love the mix of beans and all the lovely vegetables that went into this! It is getting warmer now however I could still go for a bowl of this menagerie!

  • Avatar
    Reply Kelly Anthony January 21, 2020 at 9:48 am

    This barley minestrone medley soup is sure to warm and cheer anyone up on a cold day. I love that it is loaded with lots of nutritious ingredients.

    • Loreto Nardelli
      Reply Loreto Nardelli January 27, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks Kelly, I was in need of some good nutrition and pulled out all the stops on this one. I think it shortened my healing time big time and it was comfort food with a whole lotta soul!
      Have a great week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Jacqui Debono January 22, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    I just found loads of beans and dried peas in the larder that I forgot I had. Plus, it’s super snowy and cold outside, so this recipe is calling my name!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:51 pm

      Hi Jacqui that’s the way to do it. Way to go I am sure it is going to be absolutely superb! Thanks for taking a look at this recipe and post!
      Happy day to you!

  • Avatar
    Reply Marisa F. Stewart January 24, 2020 at 7:48 am

    This soup will certainly satisfy my hunger but also comfort my soul. I hadn’t thought about adding beans with barley but then I say, why not? Minestrone is such a good way to finish off those bits of leftover vegetables in the fridge. Great soup recipe.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:39 pm

      Thank you so much. I love what barley brings to this minestrone. It has that pleasurable texture and nutty flavor and feels so good when you eat it. Definitely soul food and thank goodness for all those passionate farmers that are giving us these great ingredients!
      Have a most wonderful day!

  • Avatar
    Reply GUNJAN C Dudani January 24, 2020 at 8:21 am

    This is cool. I love the healthy combination of this soup especially the inclusion of barley. Definitely this soup is up my alley.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:37 pm

      Thank you! This soup for me is a great way to be on budget and also to use up any produce that is left in the crisper! The outcome a wonderful array of texture flavor and comforting warmth!
      Happy soup day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Pam Greer January 24, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    This soup is pure comfort food and though we doin’t get nearly as cold as you (!) it is our favorite winter soup!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks Pam. Lucky you for the lack of freezing temperatures and also for loving soups like these. We appreciate your sharing!

  • Avatar
    Reply Lori | The Kitchen Whisperer January 25, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    Oh such a light and healthy soup! Perfect for those cold winter nights to warm you up from the inside out! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto January 25, 2020 at 7:32 pm

      You are so welcome Lori. It makes us so happy to hear that the soup is well likes and it is definitely a warmer upper in a most delicious and healthy way. Thanks for checking this post out.
      Have a great day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Tammy January 26, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    There is absolutely nothing more comforting during the winter than homemade soup. I love minestrone and the barley is great swap! I think its a little hardier than the traditional pasta….wish I had a bowl right now 🙂

  • Loreto Nardelli
    Reply Loreto Nardelli January 27, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Thank you Tammy. I so enjoyed the barley. It hold well in the soup and has that most comforting flavor. You are so right about homemade soup when its bitter cold outside!. Wish we could have delivered a bowl to you!
    Happy cooking Tammy!

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.