Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe

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Quick Summary

This mushroom barley soup is great for colder days. It warms the heart, soul, and stomach. Barley makes this soup very hearty and will fill you up for hours. The simple broth and vegetables give the nutty barley the perfect amount of flavor.

Mushroom Barley Soup is a healthy and hearty vegetarian soup! It is great for lunch or dinner!

Soup is a very comforting and satisfying meal.  Soup can also be one of the healthiest and most enjoyable meals you eat if, you do it at home. Most canned soups are high in sodium and fat, but when you make it yourself, you are “in charge” and can create a very healthy soup.

We eat a lot of soup during the winter months. A few of our favorites are:

I love making big batches of soup so we can enjoy leftovers during the week.  I also like to freeze smaller portions for quick lunch or dinners when our schedules are busy.

I made this mushroom barley soup on a snowy day and it really warmed my heart, soul, and stomach. Barley is a good source of fiber, selenium,  phosphorus, copper and manganese. Barley makes this soup very hearty and will fill you up for hours.  The simple broth and vegetables  give the nutty barley the perfect amount of flavor.

This soup will warm you up in an instant. Give it a try this winter.

Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe is an easy and healthy vegetarian soup!
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Mushroom Barley Soup

This healthy and hearty soup is easy to make and is perfect for a cold day!
4.53 from 110 votes


  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 16 oz package of white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 15 ounce cans low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium pan, bring 4 cups of water and the 1 cup of barley to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the barley is soft. You can make this the night before.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Add the carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they are soft. Add the vegetable broth, water, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the cooked barley and cook for 15 minutes or so.
  • Remove the bay leaves. before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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Vegetarian Fall Winter Soup

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  1. 2 stars
    I made mine with homemade chicken broth instead of veggie broth. I thought the finished soup was fairly tasteless. I added a lot of spices and finally some fish sauce to give it some flavor. Think i’ll have to put a lot of parmesan cheese on it to make it edible. Almost thinking of tossing the whole huge pot. If the parmesan doesn’t do the trick, i just may have to. Quite disappointed.

    1. 5 stars
      Hey there add some tomato paste to the soup. It will brighten it up and add more flavour.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! I actually used chicken stock the first time…also threw in some sweet potato cubes, some arugula. The second time, I used beef stock…it’s a better match for me…and I used more celery. It is a really good basic recipe and you can add your own touches to it…thank you, I think you came up with a wonderful recipe!

  3. 4 stars
    It was good but to make it tastier I added Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base, then 4 tablespoons of cooking Sherry, about 1/2 lemon and about 3 tablespoons of butter! Yummy!

  4. 5 stars
    Delish…used portobello mushrooms. Used better than bullion veg base for broth. Simple fast and so satisfying. This is a keeper.

  5. I loved it! Yummy
    I did not have a bay leaf.
    I browned the sliced mushrooms in butter before adding to the soup.
    I used vegetarian soup base instead of broth.
    The mushrooms were baby portobello.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made this soup twice. Both times, I didn’t have bay leaves, added a chopped parsnip, and some parsley. I also used a half cup of barley instead of a full cup, which I used the first time (the full cup made the soup a bit too thick and gummy.) It was a delicious soup which we gobbled up! I generally make mushroom and barley soup with a meat base, but this soup is lighter and I’m certain healthier.
    This recipe is definitely a keeper.

  7. I make mushroom barley soup every winter, but a much simpler version. I use 1 pot, butter to sauté onion and mushroom with a bit of salt to release the juices. When they are cooked I add water and marrow bones. I let that cook for about 45 min or an hour skimming off the foam. Then add barley.

  8. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I think the fresh thyme was key. Added an additional package of mushrooms – baby bella – and the taste of this soup brought me back to my grandmother’s house! Just what I was looking for and my husband loved it, too.

  9. Made this for the second time. I’m Italian and prefer more robust flavors. This was rather bland, but a great base to work from. I doubled the garlic, salt & pepper. I also used chicken broth. Substituted freshly harvested birch Bolete mushrooms. This is a winner!

  10. I used chicken stock, cremini mushrooms, and added cream, coconut aminos and fresh lemon juice and it was lovely! Thanks for the base recipe!

  11. I loved that this recipe mostly incorporated pantry staples, making it easy to cook right before a grocery run. I will probably make it again, but with some significant tweaks – likely adding more of a variety of vegetables and spices, as well as cutting down on the amount of broth or cooking the barley in the soup. It turned out a little brothy and pretty salty for my taste (without added salt or cheese), but definitely still tasty enough to finish the batch and plan to make it again!

  12. 5 stars
    Excellent basic mushroom barley soup recipe! I added finely chopped leek (with an inch of the green finely chopped also), a full 1 1/2 lbs of mushrooms, and extra broth because, as us barley lovers know the barley continues to expand. ( I do this at the end of the cooking time and then the next day also. Add broth to thin to your liking. )
    Extra note: We are vegan so I use a rich veggie broth that I make but also I added some Braggs aminos. And yes certainly chicken broth would be delicious!

  13. 5 stars
    Love this recipe as a basic. Needs a little more flavoring. Will use beef broth next time.
    My only question would be serving size. One cup never satisfies me but need some parameters for carb counting.
    Any suggestions?

    1. Check your barley source for carbs. The vegetables will add an insignificant amount of carbs. You could use a recipe analyzer to check for more precise numbers.

  14. 5 stars
    I made this soup and couldn’t wait to make it again. So I just made it again. It’s so savory and satisfying. I used quick cooking barley because that’s all I could find locally and just added it directly during the last 12 minutes. It works great.

  15. Loved this recipe – added a bit of lemon juice at the end as someone suggested. Delightful.
    Thank you for posting.

  16. 4 stars
    Good recipe. We’re soup lovers and this one is going into our rotation.

    By the way, no food — not even soup — is “healthy.” Healthy means “not sick.” All (or most of) the food we put in our mouths is dead (because otherwise ick!j so it’s definitely NOT healthy. Although much of the world seems determined to misuse these words, the one you really want is “healthful.” That’s something — exercise, fresh air, soup — that makes you healthy, not something that inherently has good health. You can be healthy, but you want your food to be healthful.

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