Mushroom Barley Soup

This mushroom barley soup is total comfort food!

As I write this, we are just a few days into spring. The sun is out but the air still has just the slightest bit of chill to it. It’s our one week of spring in California before we go full force into summer weather, but I’ll take it!

An up close shot of this mushroom barley soup shows the soup in a green bowl with a handle. You can see bits of the carrots and celery along with quite a few mushroom slices.

This soup is particularly well suited for both winter and spring. It’s light in the belly, but still hearty and filling. It’s perfect with a slice of crusty garlic bread and a side salad. A wonderful soup to ward off that chill in the air!

What Is Barley?

Barley was one of the first cultivated grains. It shows up in history as early as 10,000 years ago. It’s a cereal grain that is often used for livestock or brewing.

Pearled Barley Vs Hulled Barley

Pearled barley and hulled barley are both types of barley that have been processed to remove the tough outer husk. However, there is a difference between the two.

Pearled barley is the most common type of barley found in grocery stores. It has been processed to remove the hull, bran, and germ, leaving behind only the starchy endosperm. This results in a quicker cooking time, but it also means that pearled barley has lost some of its fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Hulled barley, on the other hand, has had only the tough outer hull removed, leaving the bran and germ intact. This makes it a more nutritious option than pearled barley, but it also takes longer to cook.

Pearled barley is a quicker-cooking but less nutritious option, while hulled barley takes longer to cook but is more nutritious.

What To Serve With Mushroom Barley Soup

This is pretty much a main course type of soup. So any side dish will go well with this. Consider a green salad, some crusty garlic bread, crackers, or half a sandwich.

Is Barley Gluten Free?

Nope! If you are gluten-free, you’ll want to skip this recipe.

How Long Does Barley Take To Cook?

Pearled barley – 25-35 minutes

Hulled barley – 45-60 minutes

Does Barley Thicken Soup?

It sure does! In fact, it gives your soup somewhat of a creamy texture to boot!

Recipe Additions And Variations

You can also add any of the following in any amount you like:

  • Bay leaf
  • Brown rice
  • Sage
  • Tomatoes
  • tomato paste
An overhead view of this mushroom barley soup shows all of the beautiful pieces of veggies. Orange carrots, light brown barley and dark brown mushrooms, ready to eat.

About The Ingredients

Oil – Any oil is fine, but oil with a higher smoke point is probably best. Something like coconut oil or avocado oil will work. Avoid olive oil because it has a very low smoke point and is best used for cold recipes.

Carrots – I sliced baby carrots, but you can use any size carrot you wish.

Celery stalks – Slice these thin for the best texture.

Yellow onion – Dice this small for the best finished texture.

Brown / Cremini mushrooms – If you can’t find brown mushrooms (creminis), regular white button mushrooms will work too. Even porcini mushrooms will work, but white mushrooms are my favorite substitute in this soup.

Garlic cloves – Use large cloves if you love garlic!

Dried thyme

Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt. But you can use whatever type of salt you normally cook with.

Barley – You’ll want pearled barley for this recipe.

Vegetable broth – Any broth without added sugar will do the trick. Look at the ingredients list, not the percentages. If you prefer a meat-based broth, chicken broth or beef broth will work fine here too.

Mushroom soup mix (Use this recipe here, or just use 3 tbsp. ground, dried mushrooms. You can grind them yourself in a spice grinder.

How To Make Instant Pot Mushroom Barley Soup

Add the oil to your IP insert and press the sauté button.

Add the carrots, celery, and onions to the oil and saute until the onions are translucent.

Now stir in the mushrooms and continue stirring until they are fully wilted and some of the liquid has come out of the mushroom.

Now stir in the garlic and sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in the dried thyme and top off with the salt. (Smells good right about now, right?)

Next, stir in the barley, then the vegetable broth, and finally the mushroom soup mix. (or ground, dried mushrooms. Whichever you prefer.)

Close the lid, close the vent, and press the “manual” button, adjusting the pressure setting to high pressure and the time to 20 minutes.

When the cooking time is done, allow 10 minutes for a natural release, and then do a quick release for any remaining steam.

Add any additional salt as needed and serve with some crusty garlic bread.

How To Make Mushroom Barley Soup On The Stovetop

In a large soup pot, warm your oil and then add the carrots, celery, and onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent.

Add in the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid from the mushrooms has started to “grease” the pot a bit.

Add in the thyme, salt, and mushroom soup mix (or ground, dried mushrooms).

Finally, add the broth and barley and cook to the package directions for the barley.

Add any additional salt and pepper you prefer to taste and serve up a nice, hot bowl of soup! (Don’t forget to blow!)

Storing Leftovers

This will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container.

Freezing Mushroom Barley Soup

If packed well, this will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Health Benefits Of Barley

  • Barley has tons of fiber!
  • It can aid in lowering cholesterol.
  • It’s been said to help build good bacteria in the gut.
  • The high fiber content makes it a possible good grain choice for those with high blood sugar.

Recipe Supplies

For this recipe, you’ll need either and Instant Pot or a Ninja Foodie, a cutting board, and a good knife. You can click any of the images here to find them on Amazon. (Affiliate links)

Ninja Foodi sold on Amazon. (Affiliate ink)
Instant Pot sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Walnut wood cutting board sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Misen chef knife sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)

More Healthy Soup Recipes

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Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe Card

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An up close shot of this mushroom barley soup shows the soup in a green bowl with a handle. You can see bits of the carrots and celery along with quite a few mushroom slices.

Mushroom Barley Soup

This mushroom barley soup is perfect any night of the week! Plus, you’ll have a little left over for lunch. (Psst… if you click on the yield number, you can adjust for the number of servings you want to end up with!)
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Pressure Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 164kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 8 oz. package brown mushrooms
  • 6 medium garlic cloves (or large if you love garlic!)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup barley
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp. mushroom soup mix (see link above – or just use 3 tbsp. ground, dried mushrooms. You can grind them yourself in a grinder)

Instructions

Instant Pot

  • Add the oil to you IP insert and press the sauté button.
  • Add the carrots, celery and onions to the oil and saute until the onions are translucent.
  • Now stir in the mushrooms and continue stirring until they are fully wilted and some of the liquid has come out of the mushroom.
  • Now stir in the garlic and sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in the dried thyme and top off with the salt. (Smells good right about now, right?)
  • Next, stir in the barley, then the vegetable broth and finally the mushroom soup mix. (or ground, dried mushrooms. Whichever you prefer.)
  • Close the lid, close the vent and press the “manual” button, adjusting the time to 20 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is done, allow 10 minutes for a natural release, and then do a quick release for any remaining steam.
  • Add any additional salt as needed and serve with some crusty garlic bread.

Stovetop

  • In a large stock pot, warm your oil and then add the carrots, celery and onions. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
  • Add in the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid from the mushrooms has started to “grease” the pot a bit.
  • Add in the thyme, salt and mushroom soup mix (or ground, dried mushrooms).
  • Finally, add the broth and barley and cook to package directions for the barley.
  • Add any additional salt you prefer to taste and serve up a nice, hot bowl of soup! (Don’t forget to blow!)

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 617mg | Potassium: 443mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 3005IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1.9mg

This recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted on 3/26/19.

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2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This smelled so good cooking and was delicious. I had some for supper and have froze the rest for more meals.