Carrot Barley Stew with Kale Sauce

Hello! You've landed on an older recipe. Sometimes the older recipes aren't written as clearly as they should be or something might need to be clarified. If something seems confusing or a question arises, send me an email and I'll help!

Most of my broth-based soups have two parts: the soup base and a flavor stir-in. I’ve been making this kale sauce off and on and decided it would be perfect as finishing in a soup. Because the kale sauce brings the flavor, I keep the barley base pretty simple.


I like using pearled barley- the cooking time is much than if using whole grain barley. The barley cooks while prep and cooking of the other ingredients in the soup are done. It still takes about 45 minutes, but it’s one of my favorite dinners (as long as I have good bread to eat with it).


I like to keep my flavorings straight-forward in soups, usually with yellow onions and garlic. However, shallots or leeks would also be nice in this soup. Mix and match whatever you might have on hand.


Carrots are probably my favorite soup/stew add-in. If you don’t have carrots, you could also use squash or sweet potatoes instead.

In terms of the greens, you could swap the kale out for chard or spinach. If you decide to use spinach, blanching will be quick- just a dip in the water to brighten the spinach in color.

Print Pin Rate

Carrot Barley Stew with Kale Sauce

2 -3 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • ½ pound carrots (2 medium)
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup pearled barley
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup packed kale leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Crushed red pepper (for serving)
  • Parmesan (for serving)
  1. To prep, the vegetables, peel the carrots and cut them into ¼” thick half circles, then mince the onion. Heat a pot over medium heat and add the olive oil, followed by the minced onion and salt. Cook until the onion has softened, then stir in the carrots. Add the carrots followed by the barley and 4 cups of the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the barley is cooked.
  2. While the soup is cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the kale leaves. Cook for a few minutes until the kale has brightened in color and is soft. Transfer to a blender along with the olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and salt. Puree, adding a splash of the blanching water as needed to thin the mixture enough to puree mostly smooth.
  3. When the barley is done, stir in the kale mixture and bring the soup to a simmer; taste and adjust add more salt as needed. It’s also at this time you can add more broth to thin the soup down as needed.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time :40 minutes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

3 comments on “Carrot Barley Stew with Kale Sauce”

  1. Very good! I had issues getting the kale to puree, but it was still tasty. Next time I will try adding more vinegar since there seemed to be a layer missing. Also, will try layering the salt since I had to add a few large pinches at the end.

  2. Umm, all I have to say is WOW. This was so simple, had so much flavour and I could not get enough!! I added the juice of half a lemon to the kale sauce and had spinach feta cheese buns to eat alongside. JUST WOW. Thank you sharing this gem!!


Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

a few good grain recipes

Do away with ads, get access to the back issues of casual, be the first to know about upcoming events, and more.
become a member

beans. beans. beans.

Have a nerdy food question, need a recipe recommendation, or just want to share something exciting you've made?
magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram