Barley and Asparagus Soup


Warm up and stay healthy with this hardy soup made with barley.

  • Makes 6 servings.Servings


  • 1 cup hulled or pearled barley
  • 3 cups water
  • Sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white miso
  • Chopped fresh parsley


1. Place hulled barley in a large pot with 3 cups water; use 2 cups for pearled barley. Add a pinch of salt and bring to
a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until barley is soft, about 45 to 50 minutes for hulled barley, 20 for pearled barley. Remove from heat, drain excess water, and set aside.

2. In a pot over medium heat, sauté the garlic and onion in oil until soft, about 2 minutes. Add broth; bring to a simmer. Fluff the barley and stir into the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat through.

3. Add asparagus and season to taste with pepper. Simmer 2 minutes longer and remove from heat. Dissolve miso in 1/4 cup cool water and stir into soup along with the parsley; serve immediately.

Did You Know? Hulled barley has only the outer hull removed and retains more of its nutritional value, shape, and chewy texture when cooked. Pearled barley is more processed and less nutritious, and it turns creamy when cooked. Try them separately or together to discover the taste and texture you like best for this spring soup.

Tip: Cook a double batch of hulled barley when you make this soup, and toss together a grain salad with the leftovers.

Recipe printed with permission from Terry Walters, author of Clean Food and Clean Start.