Farmers’ Market Minestrone

Ok, I give in!  I fully accept the fact that Fall is just a week away and we have no choice but to embrace it or be really cranky for the next six months.  I’ll choose to welcome it with this soup I’m calling Farmers’ Market Minestrone because my weekly trip to the farms this week inspired me to give in and celebrate the flavours of the season.

Farmers' Market Minestrone | Simply Fresh Dinners

Doesn’t it look yummy? It is chock full of nutrients and it’s slurpingly delicious!  I’ve added pearl barley to it but if you’re not a fan, you can omit it.  I find that barley adds a lot of body and turns your soup into a full meal.  It is a great source of dietary fiber and contains several vitamins and minerals including niacin, thiamine, selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc and copper.  It is not gluten-free but it is cholesterol free and low in fat.

How can you avoid Autumn when you come upon these beautiful displays at Nicholyn Farms?  Pumpkins everywhere and all of those fabulous apples!

Nicholyn Farms | Simply Fresh Dinners

And I loved this mixed basket of pears, plums, peaches, apples and concord grapes.  Such a beautiful late summer harvest treat!  I’m looking at those juicy grapes and realize I ate mine up so it’s time for another run to the market!

Nicholyn Farms | Simply Fresh Dinners

Then I was off to Barrie Hill Farms where the first thing I spotted were these beautiful green and yellow beans.  Those were going into my basket without a thought!

Barrie Hill Farms | Simply Fresh Dinners

And I knew I was making soup when I came across these beautiful onions and garlic.   I go through a lot of garlic in my house so I was glad to see these good looking bulbs.  In the cold months ahead, I will be roasting lots of garlic, especially for snacks.  They’ll keep your immune system up in the cold/flu season.

Barrie Hill Farms | Simply Fresh Dinners

This soup is quick and easy to pull together.   I saw it on Country Living a few months ago and knew I would have to make it.  I added more veggie stock than they did and omitted the basil pesto.  I thought the flavour was enough without it but I’m sure it would be delicious.  If you make it on a Sunday night you can put it in your kids’ thermos for a healthy lunch to get them through those long days.

Remember that a lot of the farmers’ markets are still open and many carry fall strawberries and raspberries right up till the end of September so don’t deny yourself until you have to!  I loved the gorgeous heirloom carrots they had for the soup and zucchini was monster sized!  I had a bowl of this for lunch today and I can’t wait to have another for dinner!

I’m going to be putting a roundup together of healthy soups and stews so if you have a favourite, let me know and I’ll be sure to find the most delicious one for you.   In the meantime, I hope you’ll try this one and let me know what you think.   Cheers!

Farmers' Market Minestrone | Simply Fresh Dinners


Farmers’ Market Minestrone
Author: Robyn
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 11 cups
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cup green cabbage
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large celery stalks
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • ½ pound green and yellow beans
  1. Heat 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add barley and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring constantly. Transfer barley to small bowl; set aside.
  2. In same Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add cabbage, carrots, celery, and onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in barley, water, broth, tomatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 25 minutes.
  3. Stir zucchini and beans into barley mixture; increase heat to medium and cook, covered, 10 to 15 minutes longer or until all vegetables and barley are tender.



  • Reply
    Debbie Harris
    September 18, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Oooh my my…Minestrone is one of my favorite soups, I think it is because you can add anything and everything to your hearts desire and it will always be tasty.
    I agree with you Robyn, that the barley really makes for a good base and full of excellent vitamins and minerals. I love barely. 🙂
    Those beans were gorgeous!! Oh how I wished we had the fresh vegetables and market near us, but we do not. We get some fruit and a small amount of vegetables, but nothing to write home about.

    This is a recipe I will be making for sure. I picked up a cook book on healthy stews and soups just the other day and look forward to trying some new recipes during the cooler and COLD weather ahead of us.

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos of your farmers markets, it makes me feel like I am back in Canada.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    • Reply
      September 19, 2015 at 7:48 am

      Thanks so much, Debbie, I really enjoyed this soup and I hope you will too.
      I just love barley – it really hits the spot!
      The markets here have been a true joy and I’m really going to miss summer’s beautiful produce but I’m committed to eating seasonally so I’ll find some equally delicious winter foods 🙂
      Oh, don’t you just love buying new cookbooks, Debbie? Those are the only books that I prefer to be paper instead of digital.
      I wish you were in Canada so we could visit, friend. xoxo
      Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope your Saturday is off to a great start!
      Robyn recently posted…Farmers’ Market MinestroneMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    September 19, 2015 at 4:43 am

    Good morning my friend! I know that once fall comes you WILL embrace it but I know you are a summer girl (like me) and I’ve had to come to grips that my perfect summer has come to an end with SCHOOL WORK! Ahhhhh….

    But like you, I was at the Farmers Market last weekend and had a blast. The local growers had such an array of unusual things and such beautiful colors. We even bought some REAL wild rice, not the cultivated stuff. And yesterday, I got a great photo with my camera of a gorgeous fall display at one of my favorite garden shops. Your soup looks great and I think our temps are finally going down this weekend, and that is an inviting prospect for some good heart soup.

    Enjoy yourself and I can’t wait to talk again! Love, Anita

    • Reply
      September 19, 2015 at 7:51 am

      Hi Anita,

      I saw some real wild rice at the market last week too but picked up some red and white quinoa this time instead. So many choices of so many wonderful things!
      I’ll have to check your IG for those pics – truly loving your stunning images on there, friend.

      Enjoy your school-free weekend. I hope you didn’t have to bring too much work home with you. Looking forward to chatting too! Love to you. xoxo
      Robyn recently posted…Farmers’ Market MinestroneMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kathryn Grace
    September 19, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Minestrone is one of our favorite soups, but I’ve never used barley in mine. That sounds so good! I know we’ll love this recipe.
    Kathryn Grace recently posted…Touring Eatwell Farm–Food for the body and soulMy Profile

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    September 19, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    I haven’t been to the Farmer’s Market in a bit, I think I need to change that! There is one tomorrow morning in Hollywood, it should definitely happen 🙂
    GiGi Eats recently posted…The “I Literally Can’t Even” LatteMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 20, 2015 at 7:17 am

      Oh, a farmers’ market in Hollywood. Now that would be something to see, lol. Take some pics!

  • Reply
    September 20, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Hi Robyn,
    This soup sounds so healthy, hearty and perfect for a cool fall day. I love all your fall pictures of all the produce – makes you appreciate the cooler weather and all the wonderful harvest we can look forward to. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted.
    Marla recently posted…Real Food Friday #106 – Healthy Food Healthy LifeMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 20, 2015 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks, Marla! Always a pleasure to join your party on Fridays 🙂
      Robyn recently posted…Farmers’ Market MinestroneMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 23, 2015 at 6:52 am

      Thanks so much, Marla. The markets are really a fun place!

  • Reply
    Christine | No Gojis, No Glory
    September 20, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    This makes me want to come to the farmer’s with you! We’ve got some great ones here in NYC that I really should start frequenting more often. BTW…amazing job on this soup! Can’t wait for it to a get a bit nippier so I can try it!
    Christine | No Gojis, No Glory recently posted…No Gym, No Problem: 7 Awesome Fitness Apps to Help Reach Your GoalsMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 23, 2015 at 6:50 am

      Thanks so much, Christine. Oh, we could have fun at the markets! I’m just doing the happy dance all over the place when I’m there because I’m always discovering something new. It’s so inspiring! I think you like the nippy weather, lol. I know summer isn’t your fav 🙂

  • Reply
    Gourmet Getaways
    September 21, 2015 at 1:01 am

    This dish looks delicious, I will have to try it!

    Thanks so much for sharing.


    Gourmet Getaways
    Gourmet Getaways recently posted…Scrumptious Turkish Pide RecipeMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 23, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Thanks, Julie! Your Turkish dish is beautiful and looks so darn delicious!

  • Reply
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life
    September 21, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    That looks so good, Robyn! You know how much I love my farmer’s market! Would you believe I have never actually made Minestrone?! Clearly I need to fix that! Thanks for the recipe!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Easy Butternut Squash SoupMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 23, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Would you believe this is the first time I made it, Michelle? lol. If you like barley, you’ll love it in this soup. I know you’re a big fan of the markets, too. They are just the best! Thanks for visiting 🙂

  • Reply
    September 21, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Oh, this looks so good, and I love minestrone! J and I visited the farmer’s market this weekend too and came away with all kinds of good stuff. I think my eyes are bigger than my wallet and my fridge because I want to try a little bit of everything but there’s no way to fit it all in. 🙂 Sharing this recipe all around!
    Marie recently posted…Maple Walnut Apple CrispMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 23, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      LOL, I’m the same way, Marie! I’ve really had to learn this summer to curb my enthusiasm! I would love to go every single day. Thanks so much for the visits and shares 🙂
      Robyn recently posted…Tuesday Tidbits (No.40)My Profile

  • Reply
    September 22, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    I love a good hearty soup this time of year! This is different enough than my Italian version so I want to try it!
    AnnMarie recently posted…Random Fall ThingsMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 23, 2015 at 6:42 am

      Hi there, AnnMarie!
      Oh, I’d love to hear about your Italian version. That must be one of the original ways this soup was created. I’m with you – soup rocks!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Yum! Double triple yum! My son loves Minastrone and I use a recipe that my aunt-in-law gave me {she’s an excellent cook}. She asked the chef at an Italian restaurant how to make it, but he only gave her the list of ingredients for their Minastrone soup. She went home and began working on it and soon she was able to figure out how to make it taste just like theirs.

    Anyway, I would love to try this recipe, my friend. It’s perfect for a cool autumn evening. Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!

    • Reply
      September 23, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Oh, I’d love to see that recipe, Stephanie. You should do it on your blog this winter!
      Always such a pleasure to join your party, friend. xoxo
      Robyn recently posted…Tuesday Tidbits (No.40)My Profile

  • Reply
    September 23, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Minestrone is a definite favorite of mine and this recipe sounds fantastic! I will definitely be adding this to my fall list of musts. I am loving all your wonderful pictures of the fresh produce and especially what you are creating with all of it. Great work Robyn : )
    Mindy recently posted…Giving Thanks FridayMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Thanks so much, Mindy! I’m just loving the farms so it’s all a labour of love 🙂 So glad you’re enjoying the shots and the recipes.
      Hope you’re having a fabulous week 🙂
      Robyn recently posted…Tuesday Tidbits (No.40)My Profile

  • Reply
    Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness
    September 23, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Yay! Embrace fall!! This soup looks amazing!
    Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness recently posted…Apple Banana BreadMy Profile

  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    September 24, 2015 at 4:00 am

    You nailed this one! Love this simple but cozy soup made with all of these fresh ingredients, how can you not be inspired to make something healthy an delicious. I have not seen one little pumpkin yet here in HK. Well we do have kabocha squash that does taste a little but like pumpkin but we need some jack-o lanterns… my kids are still kids at heart and enjoy carving pumpkins each year… Photos are just stunning and composition is gorgeous…!
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted…Apple Pecan Spring Roll MooncakesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Debbie Harris
    September 24, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Robyn~I wanted to share with you that I made your minestrone soup this evening, oh my delicious!
    My husband is a meat man so I added mini meatballs to His bowl. He really enjoyed it.

    I used the fresh zucchini and a few tiny potatoes from our garden.
    We have an abundance of zucchini and potatoes, and we’re thankful for them.
    I have plenty of zucchini bread in the freezer for the winter months. 🙂 always looking for ways to use the zucchini. Ha!

    Blessings~ Debbie

  • Reply
    September 27, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Hi Robyn, such a hearty soup. Yes, you are right. I guess Fall is here, even though we have had some hot temps in the last week. Love seeing the photos from the Farmer’s market. So vibrant and colorful. Your photography skills are amazing! Lot of love to you sweet friend. From W.W. xo
    Linda recently posted…Blogger – Simple Drop-down MenuMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 28, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Thanks so much, Linda, but I’m discovering the more I learn about photography, the more I don’t know, lol. But it’s fun learning now so I’m just enjoying the ride.
      Your house is so lovely with your fall colours!

  • Reply
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