Hearty Kale, Butternut, Barley Soup

My husband and I have come to an agreement on healthy eating.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  He and I agree we need to get back to our super healthy eating habits, but we haven’t agreed on how to do it.  I say juicing is key.  He can barely gag it down.  I say vegan.  He says less meat, plenty of eggs, and a little cheese.  There’s a happy compromise in there somewhere.  We just have to find it.

This barley soup recipe came from an idea I had a few months ago, long before the first butternut squashes were ready for picking.  I think we have a winner!  My husband absolutely loved this and I think we can safely say we’re on the road to compromise, as long as this soup is with us.

You might want to double it for a crowd, or for lunches during the week.  I’m going to make a GF version with buckwheat or quinoa.  I absolutely love cold weather veggies.  And soup. :)

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Hearty Kale, Butternut, Barley Soup

A hearty, healthy filling barley soup made with diced butternut squash and chopped kale.

  • Total Time: 50 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 68 cups vegetable (or chicken stock)
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1/2″)
  • 34 large kale leaves, ribs removed and roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat oil in a 3 quart pot. Add onion and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until onions softens and starts to turn golden. Add the barley, stir constantly and cook until golden brown. Add the stock, cover, and lower heat to a low simmer. Cook for about 20-25 minutes. Remove lid and add the butternut squash. Continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is just barely tender. Add the kale and cook for a few minutes more. Ladle into bowls and serve piping hot.
  • Author: Lindsey Johnson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Main, Soup
  • Cuisine: American

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  1. I finally made this today for lunch since it looked so easy to make! And it was! The flavor was pretty good, but my hubby still added crushed red pepper to his! I only added 4 cups of vegetable broth to mine and still was plenty soupy. Thanks for an easy, fast lunch!

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