November 11, 2014

Mushroom & Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

My mother made these recipe when we were visiting Cooperstown in October. It was so warm and hearty I couldn’t wait to share it with you. It isn’t an original of mine, my mom mined it from the depths of Google and gave it her own tweaks. She has such a well-trained eye for good recipes! I am always looking for new ways to make mushroom soup. My old favorite is delish, but we all need change now and then. I promise, you’ll love the smooth silky flavor with the undertones of nuttiness from the barley. It is easy to whip up during naptime and put away in the fridge (or freezer) for later. Stay warm!

Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom & Barley Soup

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

adapted from Eating Welll

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  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 4 ½ cups reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup minced shallots (about 4)
  • 8 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry sherry or white wine (not cooking sherry)
  • For serving:
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup finely chopped chives


  1. In a small saucepan bring 1 ½ cups of the broth to a boil and add the barley. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the saucepan with a lid, and allow to cook for 30 to 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the porcinis to a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. Then, drain the mushrooms but RESERVE THE WATER THEY SOAKED IN. Transfer the mushrooms to a cutting board and finely chop.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil in a deep bottomed pan and add the chopped shallots. Allow to soften for about 3 minutes. Then add the sliced mushrooms and stir well so they cook and reduce and brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the porcinis, thyme, and salt and pepper and stir well for about 3 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook them, stirring until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the sherry or wine and use a spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid as evaporated, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the soaking liquid and the remaining broth and bring the soup to a boil for 1 minute. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 to 22 minutes. Add the cooked barley and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Then, remove from the heat. Serve in bowls and garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chives if desired.


This can easily be made ahead and reheated when desired. It also freezes well. Pour into a freezer-proof container and leave a 1-inch headspace at the top to allow for expansion. Seal well and freeze. Be sure to mark the container with tape!

3 Responses to “Mushroom & Barley Soup”

  1. Ljrbjc says:

    This looks delicious! Do you know how many ounces are needed to get 8 cups of sliced white mushrooms? Thank you!

  2. […] year I made a mushroom barley soup which has quickly become a staple in our house. I make it a few times each winter and often freeze […]

  3. […] week I made the hugest pot of this soup and we ate it all before I could even freeze any. So […]