Mushroom Barley Soup
Published Feb 17, 2023
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This mushroom barley soup combines fresh vegetables and pearled barley in a vegetarian broth. It’s hearty, comforting, packed full of flavor and comes together in just one pot!
I’ve been craving all the comfort foods recently, so I’m excited to share this mushroom barley soup with you today because it’s super comforting and hearty.
The earthiness from the mushrooms and umami flavor from the tamari paired with the nuttiness and chewy texture of the barley is chef’s kiss!
And since this is a one-pot meal it’s super easy to whip up and requires minimal prep work. Just cut your veggies, throw everything in your pot and voila dinner is served!
Why You’ll Love This Soup
- It’s a comforting, hearty soup and packed with flavor.
- Comes together in just one pot. Hooray for less dishes!
- Minimal prep work required. Other than cutting the veggies this recipe is pretty hands-off!
- It’s dairy-free and vegan.
- olive oil – to sauté the vegetables.
- carrots – I recommend using medium to large carrots, peeling them and slicing into ¼- inch thick slices.
- celery – wash well and then chop into bite-sized pieces.
- yellow onion and garlic – adds a delicious savory flavor to this soup.
- mushrooms – baby bella mushrooms (also known as cremini mushrooms) work best in this soup, but white mushrooms are a good substitute if that’s what you have on hand.
- baby spinach – for some added nutrients and a pop of color! Kale would be a good substitute if you don’t have spinach on hand.
- dried herbs – oregano, thyme and a bay leaf.
- sea salt and black pepper – to bring all the flavors together!
- vegetable broth – the liquid base of the soup. I like using low-sodium broth so I can control the amount of salt in my soup. If you don’t need this recipe to be vegan you can use beef broth or chicken broth for added flavor.
- pearled barley – if you’re new to barley, pearled barley is a type of barley that has had its outer husk and bran layers removed. It’s a grain that’s made from wheat so steer clear if you have a gluten intolerance or allergy. It contains many of the same nutrients as white and brown rice, but pearled barley does have double the amount of fiber per serving. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Barley.
- tamari – adds a savory, umami flavor to the soup. Soy sauce or coconut aminos both work as a substitute.
- fresh parsley – I love adding fresh herbs right before serving for an extra burst of flavor.
How to Make
In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the oil and heat over medium heat to warm. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften and are tender, stirring intermittently. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Then add mushrooms and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, until mushrooms start to cook down. Add dried oregano, dried thyme, bay leaf, pepper and salt, stir to combine and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
Add vegetable broth and barley, bring mixture to a rolling boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover with lid. Cook for about 30 minutes, until barley is cooked. Add tamari and spinach, stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until spinach wilts.
Remove bay leaf and season to taste. Serve warm topped with fresh parsley and a side of crusty bread, if desired.
What to Serve With Mushroom Barley Soup
- With a salad – serve this soup with a fresh salad like this easy spinach salad or kale and brussels sprout salad
- With crackers – if you’re a fan of having crackers with your soup, you need to try making my easy almond flour crackers. They’re easier to make than you might think.
- With bread – a slice of fresh warm or toasted sourdough bread would pair perfectly with this soup.
- With a sandwich – serve the soup with a grilled cheese sandwich or panini on the side.
How to Store Leftovers
In general, soup is amazing for meal prep because of how well it stores! I love making one big batch and eating leftovers throughout the week. It tastes even better after sitting in the fridge for a day or two!
For storage, let the soup cool completely before placing in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If freezing, let the soup thaw in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to enjoy. For reheating, warm the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave.
The barley will soak up some of the liquid as it sits so if serving leftovers you might need to add more broth or water to the soup.
More Mushroom Recipes
- Mushroom Kale Quinoa Risotto
- One Pot Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff
- Easy Portobello Pizzas
- Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
- Mother Earth Bowl (Flower Child Copycat)
- Vegetarian Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
More Soup Recipes
- Detox Soup
- Classic Minestrone Soup
- Tomato Basil Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
- Quinoa Vegetable Soup
- Chicken Fajita Soup
- Vegetable Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
Be sure to check out all of the mushroom recipes as well as the full collection of soup recipes on EBF!
Mushroom Barley Soup
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 1 ½ cup carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 16 oz baby Bella mushrooms sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon pepper plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
- 6-8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth plus more if desired
- 1 cup uncooked pearled barley
- 2 Tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos
- 2-3 cups baby spinach roughly chopped
- fresh parsley leaves for serving
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, add the oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, until mushrooms start to cook down.
- Add dried oregano, dried thyme, bay leaf, pepper and salt, stir to combine and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth and barley. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, until barley is cooked.
- Add tamari and spinach, stir and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until spinach wilts.
- Remove bay leaf and season to taste. Serve warm topped with fresh parsley and a side of crusty bread, if desired.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
This looks delish! I can’t wait to try it! Can you tell me if it would be ok to freeze leftovers? Or is this the type of soup that may not freeze/defrost well?
Hi Lauren – You can freeze the leftovers. If freezing, let the soup thaw in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to enjoy. For reheating, warm the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave. The barley also soaks up some of the liquid so you might need to add some additional broth or water. Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Made this yesterday. We really loved it. Thank you.
Excellent! So glad this recipe is a hit, Cristina. Thank you for your review + star rating, I appreciate it!
I made it for lunch yesterday. it was absolutely delicious. I added one finely diced Jalepeno for a nice kick. Thank you.
Ah yay! I am excited to hear that you are loving this recipe, Ann. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I appreciate it!
I wasn’t feeling all too well lately and needed a soup recipe that was easy to put together and would be a good comfort food. This recipe was super simple and super delicious. And 2 days later, I’m feeling much better. Thank you so much!
Yay! I am so excited to hear that you are loving this recipe and that you are feeling better, Jana. Thank you for your review + star rating! I really appreciate it!
(forgot to add my star rating)
Super yummy! Added a ton of extra carrots and celery and some additional broth and turned out great. Thanks for sharing something a little different from the standard soup recipes out there!
YUM! Sounds absolutely delicious, Amber. Thank you for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, I appreciate it!
Hi there, This looks wonderful. Thank you for your work! I’m wondering, what would you recommend in place of the barley?
Hi Mary Catherine – You could try white or brown rice in place of the barley. Hope you enjoy this recipe!