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Hearty Butternut Squash Barley Soup

This Hearty Butternut Squash Barley Soup is full of healthy protein, low glycemic grains, and super healthy vegetables. It’s made with ground turkey, butternut squash, barley, split peas, leeks, celery, bell peppers, and carrots.

Close-up side view of Butternut Squash Barley Soup in a white bowl with handles standing on a kitchen towel. Second bowl is in the background. A silver spoon on the left.

A soup like this can solve quite a few problems because it’s very filling.

You can take it to work and eat it for lunch or you can have it for dinner (imagine coming home and having a ready dinner waiting for you!).

You can also freeze it and keep it in the freezer for those days when you need a quick meal (it’s so much better than a frozen dinner from the supermarket!).

This soup is also very versatile.

If you want to make this butternut and barley soup meatless, omit the meat and add 3/4 cup of yellow split peas and 3/4 cup green split peas.

For the gluten-free version, use quinoa or wild rice instead of barley. If you decide to use quinoa, add it together with the veggies because quinoa cooks quickly. Wild rice, on the other hand, takes a long time to cook, so if you decide to use it, make sure to soak it overnight and then add it together with split peas.

To change up the flavor, use beans or lentils instead of split peas or add different types of veggies.

Enjoy!

Close-up side view of the butternut squash soup in a white bowl. Second bowl in the background. Silver spoon on the left.

If you are looking for more hearty soup recipes, check out this Hearty Chicken and White Bean Soup, this Spicy Red Lentil Soup, and this Hearty Ground Turkey Soup.

Close-up side view of the Butternut Squash Barley Soup in a white bowl with a silver spoon on the left.

Hearty Butternut Squash Barley Soup

Hearty Butternut Squash Barley Soup

Yield: 6 to 8 portions
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

This Hearty Butternut Squash Barley Soup is full of healthy protein, low glycemic grains, and super healthy vegetables. Make it on the weekend and enjoy all week for lunch or dinner. Also good for freezing.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 L / 4 cups chicken broth
  • 7 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pot barley, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup yellow split peas, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup green split peas, rinsed
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • handful of parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground chicken and cook breaking into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon.
  2. Once the chicken is cooked through, add the chicken stock, water, green and yellow split peas and barley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes until the split peas start to soften.
  3. In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add the leeks and cook stirring constantly for about 4 to 6 minutes until the leeks start to caramelize. Add the celery, yellow and red bell peppers, carrots and butternut squash and cook stirring occasionally for a couple of minutes, until the veggies start to soften.
  4. Transfer the veggies into the soup. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through.
  5. Add the parsley and turn off the heat.

Notes

This soup has a mild flavor. If you prefer soups with more vibrant flavors, check out the comments for suggestions on how to kick it up a notch.

Nutrition Information
Yield 7 Serving Size 1/7 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 376Total Fat 15.5gSaturated Fat 3.2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11.3gCholesterol 60.1mgSodium 287.9mgCarbohydrates 38.8gFiber 9.4gSugar 6.9gProtein 22.5g

Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.

Did you make this recipe?

If you tried this recipe, please give it a 5-star rating! To do this, click on the stars above. You can also leave a review or comment below. And don't forget to tag me @mariaushakova.blog if you share a picture on Instagram!

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Annette

Friday 11th of October 2019

This soup was just fantastic!! I do have to admit that I did take liberties with it, as I always do to some extent when making soup recipes, but wow, did it turn out wonderfully delicious! I used all broth and no water, plus I added bay leaves, thyme and smoked paprika. My husband and I don't care for ground meat, so we used chopped cooked chicken breast. I also added celeriac, as we love it, and onion and fresh garlic. This was very delicious indeed! Next time I make it I might add dill weed, as I am very partial to it. I made a double batch, and we ate it all week long - very happily too. Thank you so very much for sharing this recipe!!

Maria Ushakova

Monday 14th of October 2019

Hi Annette! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment. All the additions to the soup sound great! I am happy you enjoyed it :)

WSS

Monday 22nd of February 2016

I loved all of the veggies in this but it came out surprisingly flavorless.

Megan

Tuesday 27th of February 2018

I agree that the recipe as is lacked flavor when I tried this recipe. I added a teaspoon of dried thyme which made a big difference. Also, I only added 3 1/2 cups of water to the original 4 cups of broth for a total of 7 1/2 cups of liquid.

Photos are great. Thanks for the inspiration.

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