Recipe: Pinto Bean and Basil Barley Soup

This seasonal soup once served at Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes is clean and refreshing, and perfect for anyone on a plant or whole-food based diet.

The following is an official Souplantation-provided recipe originally printed by the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2009.

Makes about 1 gallon


  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 1/2 cups 1/4-inch diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/4-inch sliced celery
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch diced carrot
  • 6 cups canned pinto beans with liquid, divided use
  • 10 cups water
  • 3/4 cup barley
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable base (found near bouillon in the soup aisle at the grocery store)
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  • In a large soup pot, heat the canola oil. Saute the red onion, celery and carrot until tender.
  • In a blender, puree 3 cups of the pinto beans with liquid until smooth.
  • To the soup pot, add the water, barley, vegetable base, black pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaves and pinto bean puree.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour or until barley is tender.
  • Remove bay leaves from soup. Add remaining 3 cups pinto beans with liquid, basil and parsley. Simmer 5 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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