Recipe courtesy of William Granger

Barley, Bean and Vegetable Soup

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 45 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1/2 cup barley

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 zucchinis, diced

2 red potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 bunch Swiss chard, finely shredded (about 1 3/4 pounds)

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

4 cups water

1 (14-ounce) can Cannellini beans, rinsed

8 ounces green beans, tops removed and cut into short lengths

1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas

Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. Add the barley to a large saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, and then simmer for 45 minutes, or until the barley is tender. Rinse the grains under cold running water, drain well and set aside. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the zucchinis, potatoes, garlic and chard and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more until the greens have wilted. 
  3. Pour in the stock and water and bring everything to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add in the Cannellini beans and simmer for another 20 minutes. Return the barley, green beans and peas, and simmer for a final 5 to 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper, and grate the Parmesan over the dish before serving.