Mushroom Barley Soup

by Ellen Kanner
A white bowl filled with barley soup with chunks of carrot, mushroom, and sprigs of parsley.

This comfort classic requires minimal ingredients and effort and offers big rewards. The  mushrooms themselves offer deep, rich flavor, and all kinds of immunity-boosting benefits,  besides. It’s filling, nourishing, a perfect soup for the winter blahs.


1 ounce (roughly 1 cup) dried mushrooms, preferably organic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 cup pearl barley
8 ounces (1/2 pound) fresh mushrooms, preferably organic, wiped clean and chopped
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

  1. Pour the dried mushrooms into a large pot. Bring 6 cups of water to boil. Pour the boiling  water over the dried mushrooms. This will become the broth for your soup, and will soften the  dried mushrooms, as well. 
  2. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once it starts to shimmer, add the  minced garlic and chopped carrots. Sauté vegetables, stirring occasionally, until they soften  and begin to brown—about 4 minutes.  
  3. Stir in the barley and the fresh mushrooms. 
  4. Strain the broth from the dried mushroom water and add to the pot. Bring it to boil. 
  5. Chop the softened dried mushrooms, and add them to the pot. Drop in the bay leaf. Give everything a sit. 
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. The barley will have swelled and  become plump and tender. Remove the bay leaf.
  7. Season with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Stir and serve! 

  1. If the barley continues to drink up all the broth, thin soup with an additional cup of water  or vegetable broth. 
  2. Serves 4 to 6.  
  3. Find more of Ellen’s recipes at Soulful Vegan and follow her on Facebook.