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Winter Vegetable Soup Recipe

Any decent winter vegetable soup recipe should produce a thick soup and this is why pearl barley is used.

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Winter Vegetable Soup


1.5 litres / 2½ pints Chicken or vegetable stock (homemade or use stock cubes)
100g / 3½ oz Pearl barley (see 'notes for cook' below)
2 leeks, trimmed top and bottom
2 celery sticks, top and tailed
2 large carrots, peeled
1 medium parsnip, peeled
5 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Black pepper (freshly ground if possible) to taste
Bread (optional extra)
Nutrition information per portion
  • Calories
  • Protein
  • Carbs
  • Sugars
  • Fat
  • Saturates


: 15 mins


: 55 mins


: Easy


? Yes


: 4 portions


:1 Medium-sized pan
1 large-sized pan, scales, knife
Ingredients for Winter Vegetable Soup
Some of the ingredients for Winter Vegetable Soup
NOTE! Picture shows 4 parsnips but the recipe is correct, only use 1 parsnip.
We got carried away and used the other 3 parsnips for a different recipe.


Pearl Barley is a 'pulse' well known to cooks but if you are an amateur, I can assure you your local shops will stock it. It's normally near the dried vegetables (such as lentils). It is also cheap and keeps for ages and ages!

If you keep to the cooking times below you will end up with a soup where the vegetables still have a bit of their 'crunch' left, just the way we like it. Cooking for longer will soften the vegetables more.

No salt has been included in the recipe because the stock cubes / tinned stock will contain enough salt on their own. Taste the soup five minutes before serving and add any more salt at that point if you want.

Recipe by .

How To Make Homemade Winter Vegetable Soup


First, make the chicken (or vegetable) stock either using stock cubes (follow packet instructions for how many cubes to make 2.5 pints) or canned chicken / vegetable stock. Use a medium sized-pan.

Add the pearl barley and simmer the mixture whilst continuing on with the steps below. Stir occasionally.

Chop up the carrots, leek, parsnip and celery into small cubes. Click on the picture to the right to give you a better idea of the best size to chop the vegetables.
Add wine to another (large) pan and then add the leeks.

Simmer this mixture for about five minutes with the pan covered. Stir a couple of times to prevent the leeks sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add the remaining chopped vegetables to the large pan. Simmer for another 5 minutes stirring a couple of times.

Pour the stock / pearl barley from the medium pan into the cooking vegetables in the large pan.

Add the tomato puree and bay leaves to complete the soup.

Bring it to the boil then simmer for about 25 minutes stirring occasionally.

Just before serving the soup, toast some bread.

Immediately before serving season the soup with the ground black pepper and chopped parsley.

Serve the soup into four large bowls. Sit back and enjoy!

13 RATINGS GIVEN - AVERAGE 5 star rating
Four star rating
16 September 2010
From: Stacey
This soup tasted delicious, easy to make and enjoyed by all the family!
Not Given
16 September 2010
From: Not Given
It's a very good winter vegetable soup recipe with good instructions, very useful. Thanks! xxx
five star rating
20 October 2010
From: Markie Marcus
Umm just made this Winter vegetable Soup but with a couple of very minor alterations... Halfway through sweating the leeks I added three chopped cloves of garlic and when adding the rest of the veg added 140g tin of sweet corn and 125g tin of butter beans. Once cooked I blitzed it with a handheld blender... absolutely fantastic... worth £10 a bowl in any restaurant. TRY IT!
five star rating
21 October 2010
From: Bunty
Absolutely lovely. Easy to prepare and even easier to eat!!!
five star rating
01 November 2010
From: Julie
Lovely soup, the whole family loved it, Julie.
five star rating
2 November 2010
From: Lou
Brilliant! my kids love it!
five star rating
5 November 2010
From: Cecilia
I loved the flavour but found the amount of pearl barley a bit overwhelming. Can potato be used instead, or as well as some pearl barley??
Answer: Yes, chop the potatoes into smallish cubes and add to the soup about 25 minutes before it has finished cooking. You will need to experiment with exactly how much potato to add instead of pearl barley, but both absorb liquid.
five star rating
5 November 2010
From: Joyce
First class soup.....unbeatable.
five star rating
14 November 2010
From: Gareth Ebbrell
Fantastic instructions for a basic vegetable soup - and I mean absolutely nothing derogatory when i use the term 'basic'. I followed markie marcus' principle and added butter beans and blitzed it but with potatoes for body instead of sweet corn. My wife is ill at the mo, but won't eat a chunky soup and she loved this. Thanks for the recipe.
five star rating
8 October 2011
From: Donna Hartley
So easy and very tasty. Did as others have done and added chilli and garlic. Now I have the basics will definitely try other veg with it maybe replace the leek with red onion for extra colour or swede instead of parsnip.
five star rating
7 December 2011
From: E. Yates
I use this soup as a base to add different vegetables to vary the taste. Great taste indeed.
five star rating
5 February 2012
From: Gwladys
I've been making a similar soup base (always with garlic) for a while now using red lentils rather than pearl barley. I've run out of lentils so it was good to find this recipe using pearl barley. I steep the lentils in boiling water while I prepare the veg so did the same with the pearl barley - it worked out fine. Just added the soaked PB with the stock onto sweated veg. I don't eat parsnips and it was good without. Give the lentils a go (adding ground coriander and coconut - powder or milk - is a nice variation. Ooh and orange juice in the mix is also good with a very carroty version). Today I took out a portion and added chopped ham and chopped black olives - yummy and warming as I look out onto the snow...
five star rating
5 February 2012
From: LA
Love this recipe, so simple and tasty. A meal in itself! Thank you.
five star rating
5 November 2012
From: Valerie Kitchen
I have been looking for a vegetable soup recipe i don't have to blend we prefer one that is not blended. So thank you this will be perfect i am going to do it lv val
Not Given
10 November 2012
From: Claire
Really delicious soup, the family loved it. I added a bit of sweet potato, onions and garlic. Took out half the veg and hand-blended the rest. Added the veg back in and it made a thick and chunky soup. Perfect.
five star rating
19 November 2012
From: Linda
What a fantastic soup, I made enough for me to freeze asked the daughter and grandaughters to try it, all ages loved it, am about to make three batches one for each daughter and one for myself and husband.

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