This is a nice soup recipe with a lot of texture and flavor. It is a welcome change for those weeks when there doesn't seem to be a lot of variety... and all 3 of my kids even loved it. This can also be cooked in a pan on the stove until the barley and carrot are tender, but I prefer the slow cooker method. The flavors seem to blend better.

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
4 hrs
total:
4 hrs 15 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, onion, and garlic until the sausage is evenly brown. Season with Italian seasoning. Remove from heat, and drain.

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  • In a slow cooker, mix the sausage mixture, chicken broth, carrot, spinach, and barley.

  • Cover, and cook 4 hours on High or 6 to 8 hours on Low.

Tips

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Nutrition Facts

382 calories; protein 20.7g 42% DV; carbohydrates 23.2g 8% DV; fat 22.9g 35% DV; cholesterol 53.5mg 18% DV; sodium 2721.7mg 109% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (314)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/08/2006
Wonderful soup! Hit the spot on a cold Winter's day! Immediately upon reading this recipe, I knew I had to use more of some of the ingredients ~ I used three carrots, 1/2 cup barley, three cloves of garlic and a tad more Italian seasoning. I also used hot Italian sausage. I might take the advice of other reviewers and add a can of diced tomatoes next time too! Another thing...this feeds way more the four people it says. My large crockpot was overflowing! That's not a problem, though, because now I have some for the freezer! Read More
(122)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
04/13/2006
This soup was alright - certainly not up there with some of the others I have tried. I made it exactly as written without modification. The soup was absolutley swimming in spinach green in appearance slimy in texture. The sausage was a nice change and the barley was good. The leftovers went uneaten (a rarity in my house). Would not make again. Read More
(22)
399 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 271
  • 4 star values: 101
  • 3 star values: 18
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 5 stars
01/08/2006
Wonderful soup! Hit the spot on a cold Winter's day! Immediately upon reading this recipe, I knew I had to use more of some of the ingredients ~ I used three carrots, 1/2 cup barley, three cloves of garlic and a tad more Italian seasoning. I also used hot Italian sausage. I might take the advice of other reviewers and add a can of diced tomatoes next time too! Another thing...this feeds way more the four people it says. My large crockpot was overflowing! That's not a problem, though, because now I have some for the freezer! Read More
(122)
Rating: 4 stars
02/20/2006
This is a really good and hearty soup. I used 8 c of chicken broth 3 carrots (per other reviewers) and doubled the amount of barley since I'm a huge barley fan. I cooked the soup in the crock pot for 8 hours (overnight) and then put in the fridge to later be heated up when I got home from work. I think it really let the flavors marry. Maybe next time I will try making this with hot Italian sausage (use bulk; easier to cook) and will keep the sausage in bigger pieces. I will definitely be making this one again! Read More
(56)
Rating: 5 stars
05/09/2006
This is my new FAVORITE soup! I used hot sausage and it was amazingly good. Doubled up on the seasoning and garlic and used one bag of baby carrots. AWESOME! Read More
(47)
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Rating: 4 stars
01/30/2006
Well I made a couple of changes to the original recipe based on other reviewers' suggestions and it turned out SO GOOD!:) I used 3 carrots instead of 1 added quarter cup each of frozen peas & carrots a can of italian style diced tomatoes and 2 beef bouillon cubes. Unfortunately my soup ended up cooking for 11 hours while I was at work so my only complaint was that the spinach was a little slimy and the veggies and barley were mushy...but it certainly didn't detract from the awesome taste!! As others said it isn't the prettiest soup in the world but it tastes so good that I will definitley make this again (and would for company too!:) Read More
(30)
Rating: 5 stars
04/27/2006
Delicious! I used hot Italian sausage cut into chunks and it gave the soup such a kick. I used two carrots and a little more barley (1/3 cup) as suggested tossed in some dried basil/oregano/garlic salt (didn't have Italian seasoning on hand) and skipped the spinach as I haven't had luck with keeping spinach non-slimy in soup. It was so good! We heated up the left-overs the next night and it was still just as delicious. The light chicken broth complemented the spicy sausage really well. Read More
(29)
Rating: 5 stars
03/16/2006
An excellent soup for a cold day! I added shredded carrot (I don't care for sliced carrots) a can of diced tomatoes a can of sliced mushrooms and used hot sausage. I don't understand comments that it didn't look good--it looked like homemade soup! And as for it being thick as a leftover well that's how we like our soup. Great flavor! Read More
(29)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/11/2005
I used hot Italian sausage real spinach extra barley and mushrooms when I made this. I made this twice for a group of guys doing construction in near zero temps. Both times they thought it was great and asked me to send the recipe to their wives. Really warms a cold belly! Read More
(27)
Rating: 2 stars
04/13/2006
This soup was alright - certainly not up there with some of the others I have tried. I made it exactly as written without modification. The soup was absolutley swimming in spinach green in appearance slimy in texture. The sausage was a nice change and the barley was good. The leftovers went uneaten (a rarity in my house). Would not make again. Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
08/05/2011
We really liked this soup. I used some turkey smoked sausage I had on hand slicing into small pieces. It was good but I think using Italian sausage as written is more suited for the soup. The carrot and spinach were really good I used 6oz fresh spinach with no problems. I agree with reviews that you should increase the barley at least to 1/3c maybe up to a half. I did make this on the stove to suit my schedule and it worked really well: cook up the sausage/onion/garlic in a soup kettle add broth and seasoning and bring it to a boil add barley and cook in the soup according to package directions about 20 mins before it should be done add in the veggies and finish cooking. Thanks for sharing. Read More
(19)