Tuscan Bean and Barley Soup

by | Nutrition, Peacock and Paisley, Recipes

Great, healthy Fall soup recipe.

Cook in a slow-cooker or crock pot, or regular stove-top. Takes about 8 hours in a crockpot, about 2 stovetop.  Feels more like a vegetarian stew than a soup – it’s nice and thick.  Very low in fat.


  • 1 cup dried great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed
  • 6 cups water, or vegetable, chicken or beef broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) whole tomatoes, with juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped, include those leafy tops for yummy flavor
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped (totally optional, I leave it out)
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley, picked over and rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb blend, or fresh herbs of your choice like thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil, etc.
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I leave this out, too)
  • olive oil, to drizzle on top when serving


  • Combine beans, broth/water, tomatoes, garlic, celery, carrots, onion, fennel (if desired), barley, bay leaf, and ground pepper in soup pot or crock pot.
  • Cover and cook on low until the beans are tender and the soup is thick, about 2 hours on the stove or 8 in the crockpot.
  • Stir in the spinach, salt, and vinegar, then cover and cook until the spinach wilts, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaf, then taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Ladle soup into warmed bowls, sprinkle cheese on top if desired, and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Serves 4.
Credit: Meredith Deeds, Plano, TX
Peacock & Paisley Blog

1 Comment

  1. Terie

    Yum, this sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing. I think I’ll be adding this one to my fall soups recipe list. I love trying new soups in the fall.

Submit a Comment

Subscribe To My Newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To My Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!