Easy Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe

This classic mushroom barley soup recipe is packed full of delicious ingredients and is loaded with comforting and hearty flavors. It’s the perfect nutritious meal-in-one for the fall and winter months!

overhead image of mushroom barley soup in a blue bowl.

So far this has been a busy soup season! I’ve already shared recipes for my Chicken Poblano Soup, Chicken Wild Rice Soup and Instant Pot Lentil Soup…and it’s only November! I’m showing no signs of slowing down either. Soup season is truly my season to shine!

This Mushroom Barley Soup is no exception. It’s a very special-to-me soup and I know it will be special for you too.

Why Make This Mushroom Barley Soup:

This soup reminds me so much of my mom and grandmother. Both made incredible mushroom barley soup that was pure comfort in a bowl. They’d also occasionally make a beef and barley soup too but I actually always preferred the mushroom barley variation.

Barley is a grain that is far too often overlooked. It’s a great source of fiber and has a delicious chewy texture that pairs perfectly with these savory flavors.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Olive oil – for cooking vegetables.
  • Onions – I prefer to use yellow onion but you could also use white onion
  • Carrot – to build out the roux base and add some nutrition.
  • Celery – love a little celery crunch and the savory flavors blend perfectly in this soup!
  • Garlic – I like to add one fresh garlic clove to balance out the flavors.
  • Cremini Mushrooms – also called baby bella mushrooms. You could also use other types of mushrooms such as porcini mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms.
  • Fresh thyme – you can also use dried thyme, just halve the amount
  • Pearl Barley – make sure you buy pearl barley. Pearl barley has both its outer husk and bran layers removed which makes it cook way faster.
  • Salt + Black Pepper – Feel free to reduce amount of salt if watching sodium levels
  • Vegetable broth – You could also use chicken or beef broth as your liquid-base if you aren’t vegetarian.
  • White Wine Vinegar – this helps to balance out the acidity in this soup
  • Fresh parsley – for garnish.

See recipe card below for full list of ingredients and instructions.

How to Make Mushroom Barley Soup

STEP 1: COOK VEGGIES

Add olive oil to a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add in onion and sauté for 3-5 mins or until translucent. Add in celery, carrots and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add in mushrooms and sauté for 1 minute. Place top onto pot and keep covered for 5 mins. Check on mushrooms to make ensure they begin sweating (they should release most of their liquid). Cook for another 5 mins.

mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion and garlic cooking in a large white dutch oven.

STEP 2: SIMMER SOUP

Add in thyme, barley, vegetable broth and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Then cover with lid and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 mins. Stir occasionally. Remove lid and let cook for an additional 20 minutes. Soup is ready when barley is tender and soup is thick.

mushroom barley soup in a large soup pot with a wooden spoon

STEP 3: SERVE

Add in white wine vinegar and top with fresh parsley or herbs of choice into individual bowls.

mushroom barley soup in a blue bowl with a wooden spoon

Easy Swaps + Substitutions

  • Add protein – you could easily add some cooked protein to this mushroom barley soup. Some rotisserie chicken, shredded beef or even cooked sausage would all taste great.
  • Swap vegetables – I find this soup tastes best with simplistic veggies but you could add in some kale or chard at the end if desired.
  • Make in the Instant Pot – you could easily make this mushroom barley soup in the Instant Pot or preferred pressure cooker. I’d begin by cooking your mushrooms and other veggies on the saute mode before adding barley and liquid. Pressure cook on HIGH for 20 minutes. Release pressure valve manually when done cooking to prevent grains from overcooking.
  • Use dried mushrooms – You could certainly use dried mushrooms instead of fresh. I recommend rehydrating them before adding to soup.

Storage Instructions

Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Freezer : Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw in fridge overnight or on counter for several hours.

Reheat leftovers on stove top or in the microwave.

More Cozy Soup Recipes:

Print

Mushroom Barley Soup

mushroom barley soup with carrots, celery and parsley in a blue bowl.

This classic mushroom barley soup recipe is packed full of delicious ingredients and is loaded with comforting and hearty flavors. It’s the perfect nutritious meal-in-one for the fall and winter months!

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Cook
  • Diet: Vegan
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled + chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced (sometimes called baby bella mushrooms)
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 1/4 cups pearled barley
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 23 tbsp fresh parsley, for garnish

  1. Add olive oil to a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add in onion and saute for 3-5 mins or until translucent.
  3. Add in celery, carrots and garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add in mushrooms and saute for 1 minute.
  5. Place top onto pot and keep covered for 5 mins. Check on mushrooms to make ensure they begin sweating (they should release most of their liquid).
  6. Cook for another 5 mins.
  7. Add in thyme, barley, vegetable broth and salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  8. Then cover with lid and reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 mins. Stir occasionally. Remove lid and let cook for an additional 20 mins. Soup is ready when barley is tender and soup is thick.
  9. Add in white wine vinegar and top with fresh parsley or herbs of choice.
  10. Serve warm or see storage instructions above.

Keywords: mushroom barley soup

overhead photo of soup in blue bowls with a side of crusty bread.

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