This comforting vegan vegetable soup recipe was inspired by the old folktale Stone Soup, a story of hungry travelers who teach an entire village to share. Denied food by the villagers, the travelers set about making a large pot of soup with just stones and water, which they invite the locals to share. Curious villagers begin making small contributions to the soup—an onion, a potato, some barley—until they’ve created a large, wonderful meal for all to enjoy.

Not just a lesson in sharing, the story highlights how a few rustic ingredients from the garden can nourish mind, body, and soul. After all, is there anything quite as good as a hearty, vegetable-based soup? Pair it with a salad and some whole grain bread, and you have a satisfying meal packed with nutrients.

By Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN,


  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • ½ (14.5-ounce) can low-sodium diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • ¼ cup green lentils, uncooked
  • ¼ cup barley, uncooked
  • 1 small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice (1 cup)
  • 1½ cloves fresh garlic, minced (¾ teaspoon)
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into ½-inch dice (½ cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced (½ cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced (⅔ cup)
  • 2 small, thin-skinned potatoes, such as Yukon gold or red, cut into ½-inch dice (2 cups)
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried mustard
  • 3 slices whole grain bread
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (e.g., parsley, chives, basil)
  • Sea salt (optional)


  • In a large pot, stir together stock and tomatoes.
  • Add lentils, barley, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, zucchini, potatoes, mushrooms, pepper, paprika, thyme, oregano, and mustard. Stir well, and cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium and cook for 40 to 45 minutes, until barley and lentils are tender, stirring occasionally. Replace any water lost to evaporation (should make a thick, hearty texture).
  • Toast the bread in the oven or toaster until brown and very crisp. Slice into small cubes to make croutons.
  • Add lemon juice and fresh herbs to the soup, and season lightly with salt, if desired.
  • Serve soup garnished with whole grain croutons (about ½ slice of toast per serving).

Comments (2)

(5 from 2 votes)

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Steve Barbag

My family loved this soup! Due to taste preferences, I had to swap the mushrooms and lentils out for green beans and more barley. I can’t emphasize enough to add fresh herbs and lemon juice at the end. I used parsley and basil and garnished with chives. This is what takes the soup to the next level.

Suzi Wild

Just mad the Vegetable Stone soup . It smells amazing. need to cool and fill in my glass jars. can you tell me the amount of carbs, fat, protein and fiber in a cup? I am working with a Diabetic coach who is whole food plant based and we are using my fitness pal to track our Glucose. I did look in my new cookbook and magazines, however i do not see any values. thank you

About the Author

Headshot of Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

About the Author

Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN

Sharon Palmer is an award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist and editor. She is the author of The Plant-Powered Diet and California Vegan, and she blogs at The Plant-Powered Dietitian. A nationally recognized plant-based nutrition expert, she lives outside of Los Angeles with her husband and two sons. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.
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