This Creamy Potato Barley Soup is like traditional potato soup with the addition of barley and leeks for added flavor, nutrition and heartiness. If you love potato soup, you must try this recipe!
It’s officially SOUP SEASON! How do I know this? Because it’s been 40 degrees every morning for the past week (except yesterday when it was randomly 80 degrees…). Like, really chilly and it’s making me wish we could skip winter because soon it’s going to be below zero in the mornings and I’m just not prepared for that.
…I think I’m getting ahead of myself. It is still fall, after all. The leaves are changing, the air is breezy, and the squirrels are out and about which makes taking Layla for a walk quite the adventure. …and by “adventure” I mean terrible. But! That’s neither here nor there, right?
This potato barley soup recipe is comparable to traditional potato soup but with two major differences. For one, I added barley because I wanted the soup to be heartier and slightly more nutritious. Plus, I like soup with a lot of stuff in it. The more ingredients, the less I feel like I’m just eating broth. Secondly, I used leeks instead of celery, which gives the soup a different (read: better, in my opinion) flavor.
This soup is..
Hearty thanks to the barley AND potatoes
Full of vegetables
Packed with flavor
and BONUS: this recipe makes a ton of soup, so you’ll have leftovers!
Tip: Use regular broth rather than low sodium broth. I tried it both ways and, not surprisingly, the low sodium broth didn’t taste as good. You can use low sodium broth, just be prepared to add a ton of salt on your own.
Also, the bacon is optional. It’s rare that I say such a thing, but it’s true. Traditional potato soup includes bacon, but it’ll taste just fine without it if you’re looking for a meatless way to enjoy this recipe.
Bring on soup season!
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- ¼ cup leeks, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 lb. red potatoes, peeled and chopped (or 3 Idaho potatoes)
- 32 oz. chicken broth
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¼ cup half and half
- Plenty of salt and pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 cup cooked barley
- Heat butter in a large saucepan over low-medium heat; add chopped onion, carrots, leeks, and parsley to the saucepan, stirring occasionally.
- While vegetables are heating up, peel and chop the potatoes and then add the potatoes and chicken broth to the saucepan.
- Turn heat up to high and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for a few minutes before reducing heat to low-medium. Slowly stir in milk, half and half, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes. Continue cooking soup until potatoes are soft.
- While mixture is simmering, cook barley in a separate saucepan, and bacon in a skillet; set both aside.
- Take HALF of the potato soup and add it to a blender. Wait a few minutes for it to cool off a bit, and then blend for 10 seconds or so. Be careful, as the blender will be hot. Pour blended soup back into the saucepan with the potatoes and then stir in the barley and bacon.
- Pour soup into bowls, add additional salt and pepper (and maybe even an extra tablespoon of half and half) and enjoy!