Savory Mushroom & Barley Soup



As I look through this website one thing becomes very clear.

I love mushrooms.  I love mushrooms, chicken, and pumpkin. 🙂  I think I may need to broaden my horizons a bit.

But I can’t help it, there is something about mushrooms.  They are so soft when cooked, full of flavor and what other food goes so well in an omelet for breakfast, soup for lunch and on a big ole steak for dinner?

Am I right?


So our Savory Mushroom & Barley soup today has these lovely mushrooms, however they are not all sliced like the ones above, I made them all different sizes.  I cut some so small they were minced, others were little diced cubes all the way up to full slices.

Some onions, garlic and mushrooms (and a little diced carrot) are simmered down until they are soft.  Once they are all soft stock is added, but in addition to chicken stock, I added 2 cups of BEEF broth.  This is what will give your soup a much deeper bodied beef flavor that chicken broth simply can’t give.

In addition to the beefiness of the broth, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar are added to intensify that beefy flavor.

I also used my Immersion blender BEFORE putting the bay leaf in just to make the soup a little thicker.  I just pulsed like 2-3 times quickly and then added the bay leaf and the barley.  This is not a necessary step but I found it gives the soup a deeper mushroom flavor without bombarding the soup with tons of little mushrooms.

Then the soup just simmers on the stove so the barley can cook and get nice and tender.


I hope you enjoy it!  🙂

Oh!  One more thing … the barley will continue to absorb some of the liquid if you refrigerate it.  You can just add more broth or water to it before heating it up.


Savory Mushroom & Barley Soup

white bowl of mushroom barley soup happilyunprocessed

A warm comforting broth based soup with tons of mushrooms, spices with tender hearty and filling barley!

  • Author: Debi


  • 1 cup pearl barley (I used Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Barley 30 oz)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Organic Onion, chopped
  • 1 Organic Carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 Cloves Organic Garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 oz pkg) Organic Mushrooms of choice, sliced in various sizes
  • 2 Cups Beef Broth
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Sprig Fresh Thyme (whole, leaves not removed)
  • salt and pepper to taste (check for sodium in chicken broth if store bought before adding more)


  1. In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally to see if more oil is needed to prevent sticking and burning
  2. Add the garlic and stir – cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until their liquid is released, about 4 minutes
  4. Add both broths, water, vinegar, tomato paste, spices and bay leaf. (NOTE:  if you want a thicker soup you can use an immersion blender at this point BEFORE adding the bay leaf to desired consistency, that’s what I did)
  5. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to simmer
  6. Add the barley and cook 45 minutes – 1 hour or until barley is tender
  7. Remove the bay leaf and check for seasoning. Add more seasonings if necessary and enjoy!


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  1. In this recipe it says 12 cups of chopped onion, is that correct?

  2. The soup is simmering on the stove as I type and smells wonderful. I added 3/4 of a pound of Baby Bella/Crimini mushrooms because they were sitting in my fridge. I used 4 cloves of garlic, because I am a garlic addict and since I didn’t have fresh thyme, I substituted 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil., I toasted the barley in a dry pan for about 5 minutes before adding it to the soup since I’ve read in other recipes that toasting it either in the oven or in a pan helps to develop its nutty/earthy flavor. As you recommended, I did use the immersion blender. I will post my impressios once its finished. Given the intoxicating aroma wafting out of my kitcchen I have no doubt this will quickly be devoured and I’ll have to be careful not to burn my mouth as I inhale it! I suspect that the tomato paste and balsamic are going to provide a depth of flavor (umame), that is going to knock this out of the park and bring me to my knees. Anticipation, anticipation is making me wait…..

  3. Awesome!

  4. so yummy, it’s soup time for sure!!!

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