Photo: Petrina Tinslay Photo by: Photo: Petrina Tinslay

Mushroom Barley Soup

Make this hearty Mushroom Barley Soup to warm up on a cold day. Serve with sourdough toast for a lunch or dinner that truly satisfies.

Real Simple NOVEMBER 2005

  • Yield: Makes 4 servings
  • Prep time: 35 Minutes
  • Other: 10 Minutes


  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 20 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Sourdough or other country bread, toasted (optional)


In a medium pan, bring the barley and 4 cups of water to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook until the onions have softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the carrot and celery and cook, covered, for 6 minutes more. Add the mushrooms, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, covered, until they release their juices, about 4 minutes. Add the broth, bay leaves, and thyme and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked barley and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove and discard the bay leaves. If desired, season with additional salt and pepper and serve with the sourdough toast.

Tip: If you have a few minutes to spare, bring out the barley's nutty flavor by sauteeing the uncooked grain with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter over medium heat for a few minutes before adding the water.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calcium: 58.1mg
  • Calories: 320.39
  • Calories from fat: 24%
  • Carbohydrate: 49.96g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Fat: 8.53g
  • Fiber: 11.26g
  • Iron: 3.29mg
  • Protein: 16.97mg
  • Saturated fat: 1.53g
  • Sodium: 271.47mg

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Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe