Chunky Vegetable & Barley Soup

Chunky Vegetable & Barley Soup

This is the vegan version of the all-healing chicken soup. Works just as well, I think, if not better.

Made of simple, inexpensive ingredients, this vegetable soup is one of the best ways to get a lot of the veggies you need all in one dish, and the whole grains in the soup add substance, richness and protein to the mix. 

You need no broth for this soup. It gets rich umami flavor and some extra color and nutritional value from Ayala's Magic Spice. You can use any vegetables you have around: leeks, celery and parsnip are some of the others I like in this soup. If your potatoes, sweet potatoes and zucchini are in great shape – and especially if they're organic – you needn't peel them. 

Nothing like a big pot of soup on a cold day!

This soup, like many others, is even better the next day. It keeps well for 5 days in the fridge.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 zucchini, chopped
  • 4 potatoes, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons Dr. Ayala's Magic Spice
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • About 8 cups of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Finely chopped parsley or chives, to serve
 Onion, zucchini, carrots, potato & sweet potato are the base of the soup, but all veggies welcome



  1. In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, add the onions, sauté, stirring every once in a while, until onions are translucent, 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add all the other vegetables – zucchini, potatoes, sweet potato, carrots and the salt. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are a bit tender and start to brown. You may need to add a touch of water if your pot looks too dry.
  3. Add the pearled barley, the oatmeal, Ayala's Magic Spice and tomato paste, and stir.
  4. Add the water and bring the pot to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
  5. Cook until the barley is soft, about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed. Finish with chopped herbs and serve.

Enjoy, Dr. Ayala




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