Mushroom Barley Soup Recipe

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!

Mushroom Barley Soup

This healthy and hearty soup is easy to make and is perfect for a cold day!
4.50 from 30 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?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag @twopeasandpod and hashtag it with #twopeasandtheirpod

Get the best of the best!
4 Recipes Guaranteed to be New Favorites


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!
Read More

Vegetarian Fall Winter Soup

Other recipes you may like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating


Leave a comment

  1. Perfect timing. I have everything in and I’m making this today. Now I’m super excited for lunch time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This looks delish, Maria! We have like 6 feet of snow so now is the perfect time for this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Agree! Soup is such a great meal. I actually made a Cream of Chickpea (Vegan) yesterday that I will be posting at some point this week. I love love barley in soups. Such a fun and tasty grain. Hope you’re feeling better! Sorry I haven’t emailed you back yet…this week has been super busy so far! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. This is one of my favorite kinds of soup and yours looks SO good! Now I’m very tempted to make some for lunch today. Sometimes I drizzle a little olive oil on my mushrooms and roast them before adding them to the soup. Adds a great flavor!

  5. I always forget about barley, and I have some, I just never think to use it. This looks great!

  6. My mom used to make a mushroom barley soup when I was a kid and I had to force it down. Now it’s one of my favorites. Thanks for reminding me and for such a great recipe!

  7. Great minds think alike ๐Ÿ™‚

    I just sat down last night and made a list of all the soups I want to make. I haven’t done it much in the past but it’s my new thing!!!!!! Yours look wonderful!!!!

  8. Thanks for the recipe. It looks very healthy. I may try it this afternoon. I have all the ingredients ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Ooh – this looks great! Perfect for the cold weather we’ve been having in New England. I need to try to make a barley soup soon. I think next up for me is lentil though. I’ve been craving lentil soup – so odd. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I love a nice big bowl of homemade soup… and if there is a loaf of freshly baked bread to go with it… even better!

  11. this sounds delicious! i’ve been trying to finish the cans of soup in my pantry, and i’m so glad i’m done! reminds me not to do that again, and to make more of my own soup ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Looks great. I made a ridiculous amount of stock last week and it’s taking up space in my freezer. I need soup recipe inspiration wherever I can get it!

  13. Yum! All of a sudden, I’m seeing barley and mushrooms all over the blogosphere. I love your recipe – nothing too fancy, and yet it sounds so comforting, warming, and hearty. So perfect for this frigid weather we’re having!

  14. So very true about the nourishing nature of soup. I also think that making soup at home is so very therapeutic!

    Haven’t done a mushroom barley soup in a long time. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. barley is most definitely a magical soup ingredient. i just love how it plumps up and automatically makes the dish more hearty. lovely soup, maria!

  16. tis the season for lots of soup making isn’t it? I’m tired of winter already. I have a couple quarts of chicken soup in freezer, and seeing this made me defrost them.

  17. Shelia-if your husband hates mushrooms you can leave them out. I personally think they “make the soup” but I am a mushroom lover:) You can add other veggies if you wish or chicken or beans to make it more hearty without the mushrooms.

  18. I have been craving something simple and warming and I do think this would fit the bill. It looks heavenly!

  19. This mushroom barley soup looks so very good. Warming and satisfying! We are heading out to the mountains at the end of the month for a ski trip, I will make this while we are away (perhaps before then.) This would be the perfect soup for lunch or dinner, anytime!! Lovely photo!

  20. I’m definitely making this over the weekend. I have some barley and mushrooms I need to use up! Anything warm sounds good with this cold weather we are all having.

  21. Just wanted to let you know that I made it today and it’s great. I didn’t have bay leaf so I added a little poultry seasoning just to give it some more flavor. I’ll be hanging on to this one for sure.

  22. I make a beeg barley and veg soup but this is another great soup for barley…under-rated, healthy, filling and delish.

  23. This is perfect! I’ve been looking for a soup recipe with barley that looks appealing. Definitely want to try this.

  24. this looks REALLY REALLY good. i know barley is so healthy but i’m never quite sure what to do with it…i can tell your recipes are going to become faves of mine!

  25. I made your mushroom barley soup today (2-26-10) and it was absolutely out of this world delicious, it has now become my favorite soup. I can’t stay out of it so heaven help me. I have been looking for a barley mushroom soup ever since I tried one at a bowling alley restaurant during league bowling and that was several years ago and have never been able to find one that even measured up to the one i had at bowling alley (of all places huh?) until I made your recipe today. It is even better!!! Thank you so much for your fabulous recipe!!

  26. I made some of this over the weekend for my freezer. Of course I had to sample it before freezing, and it is yummy. Thanks again for another fabulous recipe.

  27. the recipe looks great, but dont you think a recipe calling for a can of something is kind of dumb? what size can? how much liquid? why not just say X cup of liquid you can replace with stock if you wish? i never got that, and i see it on these sites all the time. c’mon people get a little professionalism going so the rest of us can actually USE these recipes!

  28. Tried and true. ๐Ÿ™‚ made it. loved it. posted it on my blog and gave your recipe credit as it was by far the once i preferred with fresh veggies and ingredients. ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you!

  29. I made this last week and it was wonderful! I had half a package of baby bellas to use up and found this recipe. I had some leftover rotisserie chicken so used 1-2 cups of that too. My husband and brother-in-law (who lives with us) fought over the leftovers! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the great recipe!

  30. I’ve made this twice now and it’s just so good. I keep coming back to your recipe. You’re really a favorite here. Thank you!

  31. I had some barley to use up and this sounded great. It was. Just for fun I added one tablespoon of heavy cream.

  32. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! The flavours are great together and you can add in other vegetables that you might have on hand. I added green beans and they added great colour and taste to this already wonderful soup! I have made it several times now.

  33. 5 stars
    Found this recipe on Pinterest and have been itching to make it. Well, tonight was the night and WOW! It is SUPER delish. Even my husband raved about it, and he is a regular carnivore! He never missed the meat though, as this is so savory. It made a big pot so we will be eating on it for several days to come. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  34. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe several times and it’s one of my favorites! Delish! The only thing I do different is do are least 3 packages of baby Bella mushrooms, I do about 5 carrots and a little extra thyme and I double the barley. I love mushrooms and carrots . Thanks for the recipe very hearty soup.

  35. Has anyone tried cooking the barley right in the broth to save a step and a pot and infuse the barley with even more flavour? I’m hoping to make this today. Thanks for any help.

  36. I am making this soup now and I am not sure how many cups of liquid are correct. ย The recipe states one cup of water and 3 -15 oz cans of broth. ย The directions state to put 4 cups of water and 1 cup of barley in the pan and simmer.

    The discrepancy is 3 cups of water. ย I am trying to decide how to proceed.

    Thank you.


  37. 5 stars
    I came across this recipe looking for something healthy to make. Was so happy I had all the ingredients! Itโ€™s the 19th of January here in Pennsylvania and weโ€™re preparing for a major snow storm, so this soup looked so comforting. I was right, the hearty flavor of all the veggies along with the barley was so delicious!! ย Thank you for this recipe! โค๏ธ

  38. For those gluten free, like my dad, I researched and found that coix seeds aka Job’s tears, is an excellent substitution for barley. I am not a fan of mushrooms, but I love barley soup. I tend to use more barley (Job’s tears) and add beef chuck roast chunks. I like the thicker stew like texture on a crisp winter day. Very nostalgic for me.

  39. I don’t see anybody who actually made the soup! We’ve did and it is great, except we thought the cup of water was too much, making the soup too thin. Could you comment whether the water was a typo? Otherwise it is very tasty and obviously healthy.

  40. It was great, but I substituted things. Used mock chicken powder, mock beef powder, tamari, lots of dried aromatics. I also noticed a lack of comments from people who actually made it. This is important, because how do we (those who are actually going to make it) know it is a good recipe & what needs tweaking?

  41. 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 iโ€™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 doesnโ€™t do the trick, i just may have to. Quite disappointed.

  42. 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!

  43. 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!

  44. 5 stars
    Delish…used portobello mushrooms. Used better than bullion veg base for broth. Simple fast and so satisfying. This is a keeper.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. I make mushroom barley soup every winter, but a much simpler version. I use 1 pot, butter to sautรฉ 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.

  48. 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.

  49. Made this for the second time. Iโ€™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!

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

  51. 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!

  52. 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!

  53. 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?