Pantry Soup

12:09 am | |

It’s raining today, I’m hungry and low on fresh produce since my grocery shopping routine is a bit wonky these days.  In fact, my vegetable drawer only held carrots.  Fortunately, my pantry and freezer are pretty well stocked so I threw some things together resulting in a yummy soup.  Soup is such a versatile meal.  It is easy to prepare, forgiving with ingredients and measurements, requires one pot, makes enough for multiple meals, the list goes on.  Pair soup with some corn muffins or French bread and it is an entrée or it can be a starter or a side dish.  It’s both lunch and dinner fare.  Is there anything soup cannot do?  Ok, soup’s not very easy to eat while driving (yes, I have tried); however, with the proper container it is portable and makes for a great work lunch. 

So, paw around your pantry and see what you have and make some soup!  Here is what I put together today.  Remember, measurements are guesstimates (you can do that with soup but don’t try it with baking)!   Have fun! 


  • 1 vegetable broth (16 oz., no-salt)
  • 1 chopped onion (I used purple but yellow works)
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic (I used pre-chopped)
  • 1 cup Pearled Barley
  • 1 cup Wild Rice Blend (wild, white, brown, red rice mix)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 -14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes (I used one can fire roasted & one can no-salt)
  • ½ – ¾ C Frozen Corn
  • 1 C frozen chopped Spinach
  • 2 C dried Shitake Mushrooms (soak ~5 minutes in hot water)
  • Spices:  Fresh ground pepper, ~2 tsp. Red Chili Flakes, Mrs. Dash Herb Blend, garlic powder


  • In a large soup pot, sauté chopped onion and garlic in few tablespoons veggie broth until onion is translucent and soft.  Add more veggie broth if needed to avoid burning.  While the sautéing is happening, measure out the dried mushrooms and soak with hot water and set aside.  Mushrooms will be added to soup later.
  • Add barley, rice blend, optional dried tomatoes plus the remainder of the veggie broth. You can use all water instead of broth, if you prefer.  (As the soup cooks, and the liquid is absorbed by the grains, you will be adding more broth or water).  Let simmer approx. 10 minutes while you wash and chop the carrots.
  • Add the undrained canned tomatoes, frozen corn and spinach, diced carrots, spices and softened (drained) mushrooms.  Continue to add water to keep soup “soupy” and simmer until the carrots and grains are fully cooked. (Approximately 1 hour). Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.  Viola!

Tip:  Diced potatoes would also be good in this soup.

Robin is a second-year Nutritional Science graduate student and soon will be a registered dietitian. She and her family adopted a plant-based lifestyle eight years ago and she wants to share the health benefits with others. She believes whole foods feed the body, soul and mind.

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