Bean & barley soup

Low-fat, vegetarian and super-healthy, this filling one-pot lunch or dinner is packed with chickpeas, butter beans and pearl barley

  • Prep:5 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories 488
  • Carbohydrate 78
  • Fat 9
  • Fiber 12
  • Protein 16
  • Saturated Fat 1
  • Sodium 1.4
  • Sugar 11


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered, cored and sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 250g pearl barley
  • 215g can butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 100g pack baby spinach leaves
  • grated Parmesan, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, fennel and garlic, and cook until softened and just beginning to brown, about 10-12 mins.

  2. Mash half the chickpeas and add to the pan with the tomatoes, stock and barley. Top up with a can of water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 mins or until the barley is tender. Add another can of water if the liquid has significantly reduced.

  3. Add the remaining chickpeas and the butter beans to the soup. After a few mins, stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 min. Season and serve scattered with Parmesan.