This hearty barley, carrot, and chickpea soup has a lovely flavor, meaty texture, and an I-need-to-slurp-this-soup-now aroma. You can make it low and slow in the slow cooker or in just 7 minutes in your trusty Instant Pot, .
At the market, look for pearl barley – it cooks up a bit faster, because the tough bran layer is partially removed – and feel free to sub the chickpeas with any other favorite bean. Vegans can omit the optional grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Hearty grains like barley (even pearl barley) can take 40 to 50 minutes to cook, but when you employ your Instant Pot (AKA electric pressure cooker), the cooking time is a mere 7 minutes. The bottom line here is that the Instant Pot makes it a heck of a lot easier to get whole grains onto your family’s table. And if family meals are a challenge because you don’t have enough time, than the Instant Pot could be the answer to your dinner dilemma woes.
To hear more about cooking in the Instant Pot and for recipe inspiration, tune in to my latest podcast with Dana Angelo White, MS, RDN on the benefits, pitfalls, and versatility of popular Kitchen Gadgets including the Instant Pot, Air Fryer, and blender.
Start by sauteeing the onion and mushrooms in the Instant Pot. Add vegetable broth, canned diced tomatoes, a can of chickpeas, thinly sliced carrots, and a few thyme sprigs. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes, do a quick release (be careful), and then serve with grated Parmesan as desired. The carrots and barley cook up in no time.
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: (1 generous cup)
- Calories: 220
- Fat: 5g
- Saturated fat: 0.5g
- Carbohydrates: 37g
- Sodium: 630mg
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 9g
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- One 10 ounce package sliced mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped
- 1 quart (32 ounces) all-natural vegetable broth
- One 14.5 ounce can petite diced fire-roasted tomatoes or regular diced tomatoes
- One 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 carrots, peeled, sliced lengthwise, and cut into ¼-inch-thick half-moon pieces (about 1½ cups)
- ⅓ cup pearl barley
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- Optional Toppings: grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat the oil in the pressure cooker using the saute function. Stir in the mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften, about 7 minutes. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, carrots, barley, and thyme and stir to combine. Lock and seal the lid. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes and use a quick release when done.
- Remove the lid carefully. Remove the thyme stems, serve in individual bowls, and top with Parmesan cheese as desired.
Do you have a favorite Instant Pot soup recipe? Share it below in the comments section. Click here is my slow cooker version.