This is a really popular menu item at the WEM Restaurant, The Bean Palace. Serve hot WEM Cornbread alongside a steaming bowl of this hearty, heart-healthy, and delicious soup!


  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, butter or margarine
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 5 medium potatoes, diced
  • 2-14 ounce cans whole tomatoes, pureed in a food processor or blender.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1 tablespoon beef flavor base or 2 beef bouillon cubes. ( For a vegetarian version, use vegetable or mushroom bouillon cubes, nutritional yeast or miso)


Baking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Servings: 4

  1. In a large stockpot, rinse barley. Cover with water, bring to a boil and pour off the water. Add 2 quarts water, bring to a boil, turn the heat down to simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. While barley is simmering, chop vegetables and process tomatoes.
  3. Heat oil or butter in a skillet and saute onion until transparent.
  4. Add carrots and celery and cook 3 more minutes.
  5. Stir vegetables into barley, add tomatoes, potatoes, spices, and bouillon.
  6. Simmer for 45 minutes -1 1/2 hours, or until vegetables are tender.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

If you make your own beef or vegetable broth, use it for the soup base instead of water and eliminate the bouillon cubes.