Category Archives: Soups

Mushroom Barley Soup

So it was a  drizzly Saturday at the Barton Creek Farmers’ Market.

Shivering on the back of a truck was a pit bull/German short-haired pointer mix who was working it as his owner made sure he stayed covered and comfy.

Farmers markets and the dogs who frequent them — a combo that I could not love more.

One booth down from this woeful fellow was an assortment of freshly picked and phenomenal mushrooms.

Seeing as it was a classic soup day, I set my sights on a vegan mushroom barley soup, selected an assortment of Baby Bellas, Shitake and Oyster mushrooms — and headed home.

After brushing and admiring these lovely gems, I got to chopping. First: lots of garlic, onions and carrots.

Next, the mushrooms and parsley.

Vegetable stock, barley, bay leaves, 45 minutes, and there you  go.

One final word on barley: not an it grain, not a recently rediscovered mainstay  of the Incas or the Egyptians, but definitely a power player. It’s hearty, high in protein and fiber, and more than holds its own compared to any grain, ancient or otherwise.


  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 1   cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 12 oz. mix of fresh mushrooms (shitake, baby bella, oyster)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 t pepper


Bring water to a boil and add barley. Simmer covered until liquid is nearly absorbed. Remove from heat. (Barley hogs a lot of liquid, so in order to keep soup from turning into a solid, it’s helpful to cook barley for a bit on the front end.)

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large soup pot. Combine garlic, onions and carrots. Stir frequently on medium-high heat until the onions are translucent and the carrots are soft–about 8-10 minutes.

Chop mushrooms and parsley. Add to the pot and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock, semi-cooked barley, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.

Remove bay leaved and ladle into bowls.

Serves 6.

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