Vegetarian white bean soup is a filling and healthy recipe made with veggie Italian sausage and barley. Enjoy as a main dish or paired with your favorite soup and sandwich.
Today is the first day of spring, which means that soup season is officially on its way out. Before we say goodbye to soup season I wanted to share this recipe.
I’ve been enjoying this white bean soup all winter long.
Just like my mushroom and barley soup, this recipe uses common pantry ingredients like onions, garlic and thyme to make a flavorful stew.
This soup is made not only white with beans, but barley and vegetarian sausage. It is hearty, filling and well-rounded enough to make a stand alone meal without your stomach growling an hour later.
It’s also really easy to make. Just saute a few veggies and sausage, add the remaining ingredients and simmer.
Dinner is ready with hardly any active time!
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Ingredients and Substitutions
White beans: This is a broad term that can mean cannellini beans, navy beans or Great northern beans. Use cannellini beans, the largest of the three.
Thyme: I use dry thyme because that’s what I usually have in my pantry but fresh will work too. One teaspoon of dry can be replaced with 1 tablespoon fresh.
Carrots, onions and celery (and garlic): Also known as “mirepoix”, this combination is the base of the soup. Choose yellow or white onion.
Balsamic vinegar: The acidity of vinegar cooks off during the simmering process, leaving a rich flavor behind.
Pearl barley: Look for a bag labeled “pearl” barley. This kind is quicker to cook than plain barley.
Bay leaves: While not required, bay leaves are a great flavor addition (like in this red beans and rice).
Greens: Choose finely sliced collard greens or kale to add a dash of plant-based iron and flavor.
How to make
This soup is very easy to make. All you have to do is saute the veggies and sausage, add the remaining ingredients, then simmer until barley is cooked through.
Start by heating olive oil in a dutch oven or large stock pot over medium heat. Once hot, add diced onions, carrots and celery as well as the sliced Italian veggie sausages (image one).
Saute for 8-10 minutes, or until onions are golden brown. The sausage should be lightly crisped and brown as well.
Add garlic and saute a minute more, until golden (image two).
Add all remaining ingredients to the pot (image three). Stir to combine .
Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer over medium-low (image four).
Simmer until the pearl barley is cooked through, about 30 minutes. The barley should be soft but still slightly chewy.
Add thinly sliced kale or collard greens (image five). Simmer for 1-2 minutes, until wilted (image six).
Vegetarian White Bean Soup with Barley
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion from 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 7 ounces vegetarian Italian sausage 1/4 inch slices
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 15.5 ounce canned cannellini beans drained and rinsed (or 1.75 cups if cooked from dry)
- 1/2 cup pearl barley rinsed
- 4 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups shredded kale or collards
- freshly ground pepper, red pepper flakes, fresh Parmesan for serving
- Start by heating olive oil in a dutch oven or large stock pot over medium heat. Once hot, add diced onions, carrots and celery as well as the sliced Italian veggie sausages.
- Saute for 8-10 minutes, or until onions are golden brown. The sausage should be lightly crisped and brown as well.
- Add garlic and saute a minute more, until golden. Add balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan.
- Add all remaining ingredients to the pot except for shredded kale (thyme, bay leaves, salt, cannellini beans, pearl barley, vegetable broth). Stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer over medium-low.
- Simmer uncovered until the pearl barley is cooked through, about 30 minutes. The barley should be soft but still slightly chewy.
- Add shredded kale or collards. Simmer until wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Serve with freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired.