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Recipes: Time-effective, Low-fat Barley, Bean, and Vegetable Soup

Updated on September 24, 2010
Free stock Photo will be replaced with real photo, which may not look as professional or tasty.
Free stock Photo will be replaced with real photo, which may not look as professional or tasty.

The Lazy Cook

Okay, I'll admit it: I don't actually LIKE to cook.

But I like to eat tasty and healthy meals that are good for me. With an added bonus of being loaded with good fats and proteins and fiber. And I know if I cook something, my equally lazy family will eat it.

I also cook like my grandmother, which can be termed two ways: 1. throw in everything but the kitchen sink, with the thought that the more fiber the better and 2. careful measuring is for other people. But for the recipe's sake, I will use standard measurements, and not a dash or a pinch.


Because I'm lazy, my best friend's name is crockpot and my other best friend's name is rice cooker. For this recipe we will be using my friend crockpot. Crockpots are great investments if you're short on time but want to make healthy, tasty meals.

This soup is best prepared with a crockpot; however, it can also be made over the stove too. Basically all you need is an adjustable element of heat and something to hold your soup.


  • Adjustable element of heat
  • A pot to hold your ingredients
  • A cutting board (or a cardboard box)
  • A reasonably sharp knife
  • Basic measuring cups and spoons (or dashes and pinches, if you are so inclined)

The Basics

Preparation time: however long it takes you to clean, chop, and pour. Estimated 10 minutes to prepare.

Cook time: 1.5-2.5 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low simmer-- the longer it cooks, the tastier it gets!

Serving size: fed a family of 4 for 2 meals- even the two picky junkatarians ate it and the carnivore didn't even complain about the lack of meat. Cut in half if you have a small crockpot or are feeding only two people.

Improvise: don't like peas? take them out. Think cabbage would be nice? Add it in. This is just a basic recipe that I've found works well after mixing and matching and experimenting. And if my picky anti-healthfood friends and family eat it, it's not all in my head that it's a decently tasty soup.

The Ingredients


  • 8 cups of vegetable or chicken broth (if you go with chicken, get a low sodium variety)
  • 1 cup of uncooked barley
  • 1 can of navy or pinto beans
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 whole carrots
  • 1/2 a zucchini or yellow squash (or both! mmm)
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt (or salt to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder (or add 1/2 a real onion, but that takes work)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (ditto to the onion, you can use a real garlic clove)
  • 1 sprinkling of oregano and sage

How to Be a Lazy Cook

Preparation instructions:

  1. Wrestle open the broth lid (you may find a sharp object handy for this step) and pour into the pot
  2. Chop up the vegetables that require chopping into bite sized pieces (the squash, the carrots, etc.) and throw them in the pot
  3. Open, drain, and rinse the can of beans and then throw them in the pot
  4. Measure out the uncooked barley and throw it in the pot
  5. Throw your salt and spices in the pot
  6. Turn the heat to the desired level and set your time
  7. Dust your hands off and reward yourself for such intensive labor by going to do something you actually enjoy doing
  8. Come back when the timer dings, dish out the soup, serve with a tasty sandwich of choice (I like grilled cheese), and enjoy your tasty, lazy dinner


Found the recipe tasty? Found tastier ingredients and would like to share? Think I'm an insult to real cooks all over the world? Feel free to leave a comment! Or facebook like or rate up. Thank you for reading my hub!


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    • profile image

      Michelle Young 5 years ago

      Your blog is great and i also know Allen always adds balsamic vinegar to his soup. The full recipe can be found here: or

    • eveliens profile image

      eveliens 7 years ago from SK

      Hey, as long as the soup tastes good, no one condones my laziness :D I really love this soup enough to eat it... well, not everyday, but a lot. Especially when it's cold outside. Thank you for the comment!

    • Winsome profile image

      Winsome 7 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

      Ha, love the lazy approach. I find I love both the lazy approach and soup. I think I could eat soup every day if it is tasty enough. Thanks for the article. =:)