This butternut squash, cannellini beans and barley soup is a hearty and soul warming autumn recipe, the perfect seasonal comfort food! It is vegan, packed with vegetal proteins, thanks to the cannellini beans, and rich in complex carbohydrates and vegetables, so it will ensure you feel full for long, and provide you with a regular stream of energy! If you want to know more about the importance of complex carbohydrates in your diet, read my article here, or check the NHS guidance for starchy food importance!

Furthermore, the soup is quite light as butternut squash is one of the less caloric vegetables, only 12 calories for 100g, but still it’s full of flavour.

It is an easy recipe, the only time-consuming bit is the preparation of the “soffritto” base, which requires to finely chop all the vegetables, but it is really worth it, as it adds so much in flavour that you wouldn’t certainly do without!


Butternut squash, cannellini beans and barley soup recipe

soup's ingredients
Soup’s ingredients

Ingredients for 4 persons


2 garlic cloves

Red wine

1 big onion

3 carrots

3 celery sticks

500g diced butternut squash

2 cans of cannellini beans

300g of barley

Salt and pepper

Extra virgin olive oil




Add the garlic with evo oil in a big saucepan

Finely chop the onion, the carrots, and the celery.  Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a pan, and add finely sliced garlic and brown it.

When it’s golden add all the chopped vegetables.  After browning them slightly, add a bit of red wine, and keep cooking on medium heat until the vegetables are tender.

soffritto cooking
Add the soffritto base, and then a splash of red wine

The add the diced butternut squash, the cannellini beans with all their water (it will give a wonderful creamy texture to the soup) and finally the barley. Adjust with salt and pepper, cover with water and let it boil gently for 30/40 minutes, or until the barley is tender.

adding all other ingredients
Add the squash and the barley and cover with water

You can decide your preferred consistency at this point: you can leave it a bit more liquid, or cook it further until it reaches almost a creamy consistency!

boil until ready
Adjust with salt and pepper and let it simmer gently



Serve in big plates with a splash of evo (extra virgin olive) oil, and some freshly grounded pepper!

Butternut squash, cannellini beans and barley soup

Variation idea


If you want to go the extra mile, leave the soup quite liquid, and then serve it with sourdough bread croutons!


…Buon appetito!


Did you like this recipe? Are you willing to try it out? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a look at my other recipes here.

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