Barley Meatball Vegetable Soup | My Bizzy Kitchen

This barley meatball vegetable soup is definitely a meal!

One of the first recipes I made for my last husband was homemade bread, compound herbed butter with chicken noodle soup.  He loved it! 

I cleaned up the kitchen and asked if he was ready to go the movies, and he said “what’s for dinner?”  It was quickly learned that my husband did not consider soup dinner!

This soup is rich, filling and delicious.  And yes, it is dinner in my opinion.

What is barley?

In your grocery store there is pearl barley and quick barley.  Quick barley has been partially cooked, then dried, so it cooks in about 12 minutes.  Barley is high in fiber and is also known to help with blood sugar levels, which is important to me as a type 1 diabetic.  It looks like oatmeal when dry, but when cooked puffs up.  I told Hannah it kind of looks like Sugar Smacks cereal!  Plus, it’s a fantastic substitute for rice or other grains in many recipes, adding a nutty flavor and chewy texture that’s downright delicious, and only 2 WW points per half cup cooked.

Ingredients Needed for Barley Meatball Vegetable Soup

  • ground beef – I used 93% lean, but if you wanted to lighten up this soup even more, feel free to use ground chicken or turkey breast
  • fire roasted tomatoes – these tomatoes cost a bit more in the store, but they pack so much more flavor
  • cabbage – I used savoy cabbage, but any cabbage would work – I would skip on purple cabbage though
  • barley – I used quick barley so it’s ready in about 12 minutes
  • seasonings:  onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper

this is a box of quick barley to make barley meatball soup

Feel free to make any sized meatballs you like:  for the 3/4 pound of beef we made 24 mini meatballs.

these are mini meatballs for barley meatball soup

What kind of pan is that?

I get asked all the time about my nonstick skillets.  They are Hexclad and not cheap, but you will literally have this pan for the rest of your life.  I’ve had mine for 3+ years and they are still my go to pan.  I finally got a discount code if you want to check it out!  Click here to save 10% off your purchase.  I have the 6 inch, the 8 inch, and the wok.  Gordon Ramsey is their spokesperson if that helps in your decision – ha!


  • 12 ounces 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 28 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups cabbage, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked barley (can be prepared the day before)


    In a mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon each) and half of the crushed red pepper. Mix well to evenly distribute the seasonings.

    Roll the beef mixture into 24 mini meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter.

    Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook, turning occasionally, until they are browned on all sides and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set aside.

    In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.

    Pour in the fire roasted tomatoes and beef broth. Stir to combine.

    Add the chopped carrots and cabbage to the pot. Season with salt, pepper, and the remaining half of the crushed red pepper. Stir well.

    Bring the soup to a simmer and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

    Once the vegetables are tender, add the cooked meatballs to the soup. Let the soup simmer for an additional 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

    To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Add about 1/2 cup of cooked barley to each bowl of soup.

    Garnish with additional parsley or grated Parmesan cheese if desired. Serve hot and enjoy your hearty barley and meatball soup!


As of the date of this publication, this soup is 6 WW points per serving (each person gets 6 meatballs) – the base of the soup is pretty much zero points. It’s hearty, rich and delicious. I know fire roated tomatoes are more expensive, but to me it’s worth it for the extra flavor. Click here for the WW tracker.

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 1

Amount Per Serving:

Calories: 369Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 877mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 11gSugar: 10gProtein: 31g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

If you love soup as much as I do, check out my soup archieves – dozens of recipes to choose from!



I am a widowed 55 year old trying to figure out my life after losing my husband after a long illness.

Cooking and being in the kitchen feeds my soul!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hot Topics

Related Articles