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Nothing is quite like a hot bowl of mushroom barley soup to warm you up on a winter’s day.
Mushroom Barley Soup: Comfort In A Bowl
Looking for something good and comforting midwinter? There’s nothing better than this creamy soup.
If mushrooms aren’t your thing–and I realize that they aren’t for many–just skip this one. I really don’t know anything that would substitute for mushrooms here and leaving them out wouldn’t work anyway.
However, if you’re a lover of mushrooms, this is a soup you will thoroughly enjoy. The tastier the mushroom, the better the soup will be so you can get adventurous here. Even splurge on some exotic ones if you feel so inclined. I use baby bellas, since they’re often on sale in my local store, but good old generic white ones work just as well.
Yep, this can be vegetarian if you include dairy in your diet. The chicken stock can be easily substituted with mushroom or vegetable stock. I suppose it can be made vegan too with all the new dairy-free milks available, however, I haven’t tried it that way so it’s up to you if you want to try it with almond or oat milk. And of course, vegan butter can replace the regular dairy butter.
Is there any grain better than barley?
It’s nutty and filling and has a great chew factor. Barley is an excellent addition to this soup. In fact, barley makes this soup a complete meal when served with a nice salad on the side. You won’t leave the table hungry.
I would recommend that you use regular pearl barley in this soup and bypass the “quick-cooking” variety. The quick stuff seems to lack the texture and I suspect the nutrition that the real thing has.
Mushroom Barley Soup
- 8 oz fresh mushrooms sliced
- 1/4 cup onion finely chopped
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups rich chicken stock see NOTES
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme bruised -OR- 1/4 tsp dried
- 1/2 cup barley
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 cups half-and-half -OR- light cream
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook until the onions are translucent—about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock, thyme, barley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until barley is cooked.
- Mix the flour and water well so there are no lumps. Slowly stir into the hot soup (mixture will be very thick). Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes to cook the flour.
- Slowly stir in the half-and-half and heat through. Remove thyme sprigs (if using fresh) before serving. Add any additional salt and/or pepper if needed.