Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
114 Calories
7g Fat
11g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 114
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1228mg 53%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 3mg 15%
Calcium 22mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 206mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for whole foods mushroom barley soup is a great vegan variation on the classic dish found in most eastern European and Jewish restaurants. Mushroom barley soup is a wonderful, warming, fall/winter food.

You can certainly substitute a rich bone broth (grass-fed beef broth or a good homemade free-range chicken broth add to the richness and nutritive value if you're thus inclined).

This soup is a cost-effective meal in itself, and invites plenty of variation: feel free to add a parsnip, turnip, rutabaga, sweet potato, or leek to this soup. Serve it with a green salad and a nice hunk of sourdough bread, and you've got a meal.

To our gluten-free friends: substitute Job's Tears or short grain brown rice for the barley, which is one of the top gluten-containing grains.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, or untoasted sesame oil

  • 1/4 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup hot water

  • 1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, creminis mixed with at least 6 ounces shiitakes, sliced

  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots

  • 1 small onion, chopped

  • 1 stalk celery, diced

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 1/2 cup pearled barley

  • 4 cups vegetable stock, or water

  • 4 tablespoons tamari

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 5 sprigs fresh dill, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the oil over medium flame in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or 3-quart pot.

  3. Drain the soaked shiitakes, reserving liquid.

  4. Chop the shiitakes fairly fine and add them to the pot along with the sliced mushrooms, chopped shallots, onions, celery, carrot, and barley.

  5. Increase the heat to medium high, and cook vegetables, stirring often, until the mushrooms have browned and the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 10 minutes.

  6. Add the soaking liquid from the dried shiitake mushrooms, vegetable stock, tamari, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 40 minutes. Add more water or stock if the soup seems too thick.

  7. Check the soup for seasoning and add a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper if needed.

  8. Remove the thyme branch and bay leaf. Sprinkle the soup with dill and serve.

  9. Enjoy!


This soup holds well—and is even better the next day—but will thicken as it sits. Simply add a bit of stock or water when reheating.