Mushroom Barley Soup

To me, fall and winter mean many things. Raised up north until 24, it meant cool, crisp air and vibrant leaves transitioning into frigid cold and snowy days. Now that I live in Georgia, the southern climate hasn’t quite caught up to my mental northern seasons. The 10-day forecast shows sun and mid-high 80s every day but my apartment is decorated for fall and I have begun to cook a steady flow of various homemade soups in hopes that the season soon follows suit.

This mushroom barley soup is healthy and hearty, high in fiber and protein, and easy to make. I adapted it here to make an amount appropriate for a 2-person home with some small changes from the original recipe on Epicurious. Keep in mind, although it is easy to make, it does take a while from start to finish because the barley has to cook.


  • 7 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth (I happened to have a 4-cup container of broth and 3-cup container of stock so I used a combination of the two)
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1.5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 cups chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I used 3…I love garlic)
  • 8 oz sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1 thin carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 to 3/4 parsnip, thinly sliced (this gives the soup a warm, almost spicy taste)


  1. Combine stock (or broth) and barley in medium-large pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer until barley is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.
  2. After about 30 minutes of simmering the barley, heat the oil in a separate large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute until mushrooms turn brown, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop up the celery, carrot, and parsnip and set aside.
  3. Add sauteed mushroom mixture, celery, carrot, and parsnip to soup in pot. Simmer until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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