I call this my "Barley & Sage Soup" even though there is sooo much more to it than that! Loaded with roasted butternut squash and kale, this soup is hearty, healthy, and super filling! It’s also vegan which is always a plus!
I use my Vegetable Stock in this recipe because it's super easy to make and I always have a bunch in the freezer! However, store bought stock/broth is also fine to use. Just be wary of the salt content when using store bought stock. One of the things I love about using homemade stock is that I can completely control the salt content so I never have to worry about over salting my soups on accident.
Since the barley has to simmer for about an hour to become nice and tender, I like to roast my butternut squash in the oven and add it in at the end. This is totally optional, but roasting the squash adds a rich depth of flavor that is so worth the extra step! Roasting it and adding it in at the end also helps the squash keep its shape so that the soup doesn’t turn into a mushy mess (which still tastes great of course).
Bake at 425 degrees for 15-25 minutes or until it’s tender and slightly browned on the edges.
When the barley is cooked and tender, add in the squash, kale, and lemon juice. Cook for another 5 minutes-ish until the kale is cooked but still bright green. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Best served in front of the fireplace with the dog curled up on your feet 🙂
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Butternut Squash Soup with Barley and Kale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ⅓ cup pearled barley
- ⅔ cup white cooking wine, optional
- 6 cups Vegetable Stock
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Lightly saute the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add in the barley and stir until evenly coated with the oil. Saute for an additional 2-3 minutes stirring frequently so that the barley doesn't burn.
- Deglaze the pan by adding the wine, then add in the vegetable stock, herbs, and salt/pepper and bring the soup to a boil.
- Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer on low for about 1 hour or until the barley is tender.
- While the soup is cooking, we're going to roast the butternut squash in the oven. You can skip this step and simply add the raw squash in to cook with the rest of the soup, but roasting it first adds a rich depth of flavor that is so worth the extra step.
- Place your diced butternut squash on your parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil (1-2 tablespoons). Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until evenly coated. Roast the squash for 15-25 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Once the barley is tender, add in the roasted squash, kale, and lemon juice. Cook until the kale is soft but still bright green (about 5 minutes). Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
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