Black Bean & Barley Soup

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If you’re trying to participate in meatless Monday, you’re a vegetarian/vegan, OR you’re on a tight budget because you recently bought a house. Hi, that last one is us! This soup is for YOU!

How exciting is the whole buying a house thing? Super exciting and it’s a definite way to wake you up in terms of budgeting. Luckily, Steve and I have been working on budgeting this year so we’re already in the watch your spending mindset.

This recipe costs under $10.00 total. TEN DOLLARS! I’ll take that any day. Also it makes about 10 cups so it is a good recipe for leftovers. The most expensive thing would be the barley (pearl or instant) because I don’t see that a lot of people have barley as a staple grain in the pantry. You could easily sub in rice or pasta in this soup too. If you opt to not add in grains, only add 4 cups of liquid.

Black Bean & Barley Soup

CHEAP and EASY vegetarian soup
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  • 2 cans black beans, no salt or low sodium drained & rinsed
  • 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pearl or instant barley (if using instant barley, reduce simmer time by 15 minutes)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 4 cups chopped spinach (optional)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 bouillon cube


  • Chop all veggies and mince garlic. Add to pot with 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Cook 5-8 minutes.
  • Add spices and mix to coat the veggies.
  • Drain and rinse your beans. Take half of the beans and mash with a potato masher. 
  • Add the beans, tomatoes, water, and bouillon cube to the pot. You can also take your bouillon cube and break it up to make sure it spreads throughout your soup.
  • Bring to a boil and add the barley. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes. If using instant barley, simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • If desired add in chopped spinach. 


Did you make this recipe? Tag @The_Beer_Dietitian on Instagram


When we ate this, we enjoyed it with some plain Greek yogurt on top and some chopped green onions. You might also like it with tortilla chips and a little added hot sauce or some guacamole. Enjoy the meal and the savings $$!

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