Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup
Mushroom Barley Soup
Ah, autumn. A wonderful time to review one’s soup recipes.

I originally learned how to make mushroom barley soup from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. Here is my current one-pot recipe, which I prepare now by heart without consulting Mollie:


  • Mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • Flavoring: I use a tsp. of miso. You can also use soy sauce and/or 1 tsp. of red wine.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water
  • Olive oil to cover bottom of pan

Many optional ingredients:

  • Root vegetables: chopped carrots, parsnip, and/or turnip
  • Garlic clove
  • Chopped celery
  • Chopped ginger root
  • Green leafy vegetables: chopped kale or collards
  • Herbs, fresh or dry: dill, oregano, thyme
  • Shiitake mushrooms: make the soup all the more healthful and flavorful by using shiitake mushrooms

Preparing the Soup

Saute the chopped onion in a bit of olive oil at the bottom of a large pot. When the onion turns translucent, add the barley. Add more than enough water to cover the barley – about one inch higher in the pot. Cook for about 1/2 hour until the barley is almost tender. Add pepper and salt to taste. Add optional ingredients of carrots, other root vegetables, garlic and celery; add the mushrooms. Pour in one cup more of water. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add optional kale, dill, other herbs and/or other fast cooking greens. Add soy sauce or miso to give the soup taste. Serve warm.

Coming soon (next week?): a list of soup recipes from around the blogosphere. Also, some suggested soup ingredients. If you have a favorite soup recipe that is on a blog, feel free to leave the link in the comments (thanks to Mrs. S., who last week did just that).

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