6 servings

This French onion soup is chock-full of fiber-rich barley for a tasty variation on the classic. You can omit the sherry or replace it with white wine if you wish.

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine boiling water and shiitakes in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain the shiitakes in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid. Slice shiitakes, discarding stems.

Step 2

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, shallots, ginger, and garlic; sauté 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the shiitakes, button mushrooms, sugar, and beef. Sauté 10 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add reserved mushroom liquid, 4 cups water, and the next 4 ingredients (water through consommé); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes or until barley is tender. Stir in 1 teaspoon sesame oil.

Step 3

Preheat broiler.

Step 4

Ladle 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 6 ovenproof soup bowls; top each serving with 2 bread slices and 2 tablespoons cheese. Broil 3 inches from heat 1 minute or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Step 5

Note: This soup will freeze well for up to two months. Pour into an airtight container, leaving enough room for expansion (usually an inch or two at the top). To reheat, thaw completely in the refrigerator; then place contents in a saucepan over low heat, adding some liquid if necessary.

Ratings & Reviews

Al1saPanv1n1's Review

September 24, 2013
This soup was excellent! The flavor was so rich & complex. Couple of comments/changes: I used 8oz fresh shiitake & 8oz button mushrooms (not 3 cups). Since I didn't have "reserved mushroom liquid", I added 5 instead of 4 cups of water. Also, subbed regular barley for pearl, red wine for sherry, beef broth for consume & added salt to taste at the end. Next time I would lightly salt the steak to bring out more flavor. I will definitely make this again!!

althea6801's Review

October 21, 2013
Yum! My boyfriend thinks I'm a genius! Thanks :-)

stellacorona's Review

April 11, 2013
i thought this was really yummy! sliced onions thin as one suggested, but they sort of disappeared. might leave a bit larger pieces next time. didn't use shallots.

promogal's Review

November 07, 2011
Have been making this for years. It is always a winner! Great Fall/Winter dish!

HollyB's Review

October 20, 2011
My whole family loves this! I don't use the dried mushrooms, and I use red wine instead of sherry. I agree with those who say you won't miss the beef!

Monique1672's Review

September 22, 2011
This was great! I didn't use the shitake mushrooms because I just don't like that many mushrooms. It was really good!

JIMMIC's Review

January 30, 2011
We used regular Barley instead of the Pearl, and Ginger from a tube instead of the chopped. I would cut the onions into bite size pieces for ease the next time. Very tasty.

cesamsel's Review

February 05, 2010
This has long been one of my favorite soup recipes, and I've always made as directed and been amazed at the rich interplay of flavors. I tried substituting the barley with farro, which I had found at Costco. The farro only needs 15 min. of cook time, and had a beautiful creamy texture. Good change of whole-grain-pace!

kellergirl's Review

February 04, 2010
YUM! Really easy and delicious. Could not find consume anywhere so used beef stock - 3 cups and 1 cup water and one can of beef broth, also used white wine instead of sherry. Husband did not care for the taste and texture of the rehydrated mushrooms so will use fresh next time. You could completely omit the beef and not miss it at all. Will make again!

Beggar's Review

January 25, 2010
This recipe takes Onion Soup up into another realm! It is a fabulous soup that I have made more times than I can count! This recipe has become my husbands favorite soup recipe.