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Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

A healthy vegetarian soup to pair with a glass of Merlot when the temperatures start to drop outside.
Course Main Dishes and Wine Pairings, Soup
Cuisine Eastern European
Keyword Mushroom Barley Soup
Servings 8
Author Jane, adapted from, "Fast Food, Good Food," Andrew Weil, MD


  • 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 + teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 8 oz. fresh cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable broth(for vegetarian) or chicken broth (non vegetarian)
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley (uncooked)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano for garnish


  • In a 2 qt. saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, add the dried mushrooms. Remove from heat and cover, let soak for 20 minutes. Strain the mushrooms through a fine mesh strainer over a bowl to remove any sediment and dirt, reserving the liquid. Finely chop the mushrooms and set aside.
  • In a 6-3/4 qt. dutch oven or soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, stirring for about 4 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms, carrots, celery, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stir and cook the vegetables for about 5-6 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and thyme, stir to combine.
  • Add the wine to deglaze the pot, stirring until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Add the soaked chopped dried mushrooms, reserved mushroom liquid, broth, barley, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat and cook for about 45 minutes or until the barley is tender.
  • To serve; garnish with parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano.