Tomato Barley Soup

We like barley and we love tomatoes – we had to try this soup recipe from   Land O'Lakes Treasury of Country Recipes.  I used a few fresh tomatoes I had and a pint of stewed tomatoes – I did add a few snipped leaves of fresh basil I had on hand, and I used olive oil to sweat the vegetables. 
My husband loved it – even after having to wait patiently while his lunch was being photographed!   If you use this as a main dish soup, it only makes 4 servings instead of 6; I would suggest a protein dessert like Myrna's  Baked Custard or a half sandwich to go with it.
 I used “Quick” barley and only cooked this 25 minutes – the mirepoix vegetables were still a little crisp and the tomatoes stayed chunky – it was excellent.  The directions are mine – the original recipe called for 2 pans!
                          Tomato Barley Soup
  1        Cup  Onion -- chopped
  1        Cup  Carrots -- sliced 1/4-inch thick
  1        Cup  Celery -- sliced 1/4-inch thick
  2        Tablespoons  Salad Oil (I used olive oil)
  2        Teaspoons  Garlic -- minced
     ¼    Cup  Barley – pearled (I used “quick” barley)
  2 ½    Cups  Water
  2        Cups  Ripe Tomatoes -- cubed 1"
  1        Pint  Canned Whole Tomatoes (I had stewed tomatoes on hand)
  1        Pint  Chicken Broth -- (or 10 ounce can) (or vegetable stock)
     ¼    Teaspoon  Pepper
   4       Leaves fresh basil, snipped (my addition)
In 3 quart saucepan, combine onions, carrots, celery, oil and garlic.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp tender 8-10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to a full boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover; cook until barley is tender, about 20 minutes for quick barley or 35-40 minutes for pearled barley. 


  1. I've been on a real soup kick lately and this sounds great! I'll have to try this. I have everything but fresh tomatoes, although I do have grape and could use those. Thanks, Sue! :)

  2. Greetings from chilly Marshalltown, IA!!!

    I'm new to The Iowa House Wife, Sue; been scrolling back to some of your earlier postings over the past few days and have been delighted with all the good old Midwestern recipes you've shared here. Your blog's layout is a treat for the eyes and an inspiration for those of us(especially those of us lucky to be Iowans!)who love to cook!

    The Tomato Barley Soup sounds wonderful; Steve and I enjoy soups and we're always happy to try something new such as this recipe...we'll try it out very soon--I have all the ingredients needed--and I already know it's going to taste great!

    A quick question for you: do you or Myrna have a copy of the 1935 Herhey's Cookbook (I believe it was reprinted in 1971)? That's one of my favorites, along with the McCall's International Cookbook.

    I'm happy to have found your site and look forward to more fine postings!

  3. Hi Marge, Welcome to a fellow Iowan.
    Sad to say we don't have that Hershey's cookbook or the McCall's international - so many cookbooks, so little time!

  4. My friend gave me this recipe and I have made several times. Although I hate tomatoes, I love everything made with them so I get the healthy benefits of the lycopene that they contain. Going to make some today.

  5. I have made this recipe several times and love it -and I hate tomatoes! Instead of the fresh ripe tomato and the can of whole tomatoes, I use chopped tomatoes, like the brand Pom. Laura

  6. Good recipe, isn't it? We always seem to have good luck with any Land O Lakes recipes.

  7. I passed over this the first time I saw it, then when I saw it again in my mail, stopped and really checked it out, decided it looked good! I have too many tomatoes in my garden, love barley, hate to bother cooking the beef that usually goes with the barley, like stewed tomatoes, need smaller recipes for just me, and, well, it looked perfect! Will be stocking up what I need to make it, can't wait to try it! Thanks for a great idea!

    1. Wendy...I made this for the blog, now I make it pretty regularly...maybe once a month or so, we like it that well.


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