Slow Cooker: Bean & Barley Soup

Recipe provided from

While I’m obsessed with Food Network, experimenting in the kitchen has never come naturally to me. I’ve come a long way over the past few years, but still heavily rely on well-written recipes.

Also, I love the simplicity of using a Slow Cooker. Set it and forget it? Yes, please!

So when I saw Katie Lee make this Slow-Cooker Bean & Barley Soup on The Kitchen, I knew I had to try it. It’s hearty, flavorful, and easy! I’ve made it several times and recommend it completely.

You won’t even miss the meat!

Image borrowed from


1 cup dried multi-bean mix or Great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed

1/2 cup pearl barley

3 cloves garlic, smashed

2 medium carrots, roughly chopped

2 ribs celery, roughly chopped

1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons dried Italian herb blend

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, crumbled if large, optional

One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice

3 cups cleaned baby spinach leaves (about 3 ounces)

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


Special equipment: slow cooker
  1. Put 6 cups water, the beans, barley, garlic, carrots, celery, onions, bay leaf, 11/2 tablespoons salt, herb blend, some pepper and porcini mushrooms (if using) in a slow cooker. Squeeze the tomatoes through your hands over the pot to break them down, and add with their juices. Cover and cook on high until the beans are quite tender and the soup is thick, about 8 hours.
  2. Add the spinach and cheese, and stir until the spinach wilts, about 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and drizzle each serving with vinegar and olive oil.

This recipe has been updated and may differ from what was originally published or broadcast.

From Food Network Kitchens Making it Easy, Meredith, 2004

5 responses to “Slow Cooker: Bean & Barley Soup”

  1. Yum!
    We have a major storm coming in this weekend, it might be the perfect time to try this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I need to get a slow cooker. this looks yum and easy to make despite the possibility of not being able to get my hands on some of the ingredients in my side of the world. Nevertheless, I shall try it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely a go-to in my house! Where do you live, friend? πŸ•Š


      1. I live in Sri Lanka. I should be able to locate a crockpot somewhere around in the region. I had forgotten I needed one until I saw your post.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. They sure can be handy! Especially for lazy chefs like me. 😎

        Liked by 1 person

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