Sketching Out Blog: Sketches of art, watercolor, photos, recipes, books, interviews, Jewish topics, and Highland Park, New Jersey

Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup
Mushroom Barley Soup – featured on this month’s Kosher Cooking Carnival

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).

annie says

I have the mushrooms. Going to get barley. This looks delish. Thanks.

Leora says

Glad it looks good. I took about 10 photos of the soup in this bowl and then picked one.

Mrs. S. says

Yum! This soup sounds like it would be just the thing for the wonderfully wet weather we've been having.

Ilana-Davita says

I have just made soup with Hokkaido pumpkin, I'll post it if it's nice.

Leora says

Sounds delightful!

Klara Le Vine says

How can anything with Hokkaido not be nice?? I'm jealous!!

Ilana-Davita says

The post is ready. I'll put it up tomorrow.

Klara Le Vine says


I love the bowl you chose - such an unusual shape.

There are different kinds of barleys one can use - those in the States can get hulled barley at - it's a hearty barley, more chewy than what is often available at grocery stores. But it does need to be soaked.

I love putting celery in at the end, to give a contrasting texture, a crunch.

Also, barley soup thickens as it sits, so if any left the next day, good to put in some stock or more water and more flavoring (I like soy sauce).

Jew Wishes says

Quite the appetizing photo. I am going to try the recipe, once I get settled.

Abbi says

Sounds yum! I love the miso idea. And I love barley mushroom soup.

Deborah Rey says

I'm coming over for dinner, Leora!

Janet says

OMG that looks SO good! I just picked up some dried shiitakes, too. I'm making this as soon as I'm well!

phyllis says

i can almost smell it....delish!! i make mollie katzen's mushroom barley soup too. so good.

i make this one from her also:

and this one (not from her)

and this isn't soup but it's mushroom barley soup in casserole form:

i love love love soup.

ramblingwoods says

I am going to try this..but it will be for me only. Hubby doesn't like mushrooms... what he is

Devo K says

Thanks for participating in the November KCC! Please don't forget to spread the word and post a link to it in your blog. Happy Thanksgiving!


Please leave a comment! I love to hear from you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.