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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the parsley and turn off the heat.
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.
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Serving Size1/7 of recipe
Amount Per ServingCalories 376 Total Fat 15.5g Saturated Fat 3.2g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 11.3g Cholesterol 60.1mg Sodium 287.9mg Carbohydrates 38.8g Fiber 9.4g Sugar 6.9g Protein 22.5g