Cream of Mushroom & Barley Soup

27 Reviews
From: EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016

This sophisticated take on creamy mushroom soup is rich with earthy porcini mushrooms and has the added goodness of whole-grain barley.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or mushroom broth (see Shopping Tip), divided
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup minced shallots, (about 4 medium)
  • 8 cups sliced white mushrooms, (about 20 ounces)
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry sherry, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives

Preparation

  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Bring barley and 1 1/2 cups broth to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine porcinis and boiling water in a medium bowl and soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Line a sieve with paper towels, set it over a bowl and pour in mushrooms and soaking liquid. Reserve the soaking liquid. Transfer the mushrooms to a cutting board and finely chop.
  3. Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add white mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the porcinis, celery, sage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Add sherry and cook, stirring, until most of the sherry has evaporated, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the soaking liquid and the remaining 3 cups broth; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup has thickened, 18 to 22 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked barley and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes more. Stir in sour cream until incorporated. Garnish with chives.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare soup through Step 4. Cover and refrigerate the soup and cooked barley separately for up to 3 days. To serve, combine (Step 5) and reheat.
  • Shopping tip: Look for mushroom broth in aseptic containers in well-stocked supermarkets or natural-foods stores.
  • Ingredient note: Sherry is a type of fortified wine originally from southern Spain. Don't use the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets—it can be surprisingly high in sodium. Instead, purchase dry sherry that's sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1 3/4 cups
  • Per serving: 368 calories; 12 g fat(5 g sat); 8 g fiber; 44 g carbohydrates; 17 g protein; 58 mcg folate; 17 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 885 IU vitamin A; 9 mg vitamin C; 92 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 437 mg sodium; 1045 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 fat

Reviews 27

February 16, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
Great Meatless Soup I thought this soup was pretty good. I added additional flour because it didn't thicken up. Also, I added garlic and Italian seasoning. All in all, it was awesome. Pros: Filling, tasty Cons: Recipe needs to increase the amount flour for thickness
February 16, 2016
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By: EatingWell User
I thought this soup was pretty good. I added additional flour because it didn't thicken up. Also, I added garlic and Italian seasoning. All in all, it was awesome.
December 13, 2014
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By: Heidi Mayer
Super Mushroom Soup Loved this soup, as did my husband! The dry sherry, dried porcini mushroom, and the soaking juice added a sophisticated, wonderful dimension to the average mushroom soup recipe. And it's healthy, as an added bonus! This is a keeper recipe. (Note to previous reviewer: I also used only 2 tablespoons flour, and it seemed to work. Maybe there was too much liquid in the vegetables when you added the flour?) Pros: Perfect for a gloomy, cold day Cons: No cons
February 21, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Too runny Followed this recipe to a T. I had my doubts that 2 tablespoons of flour would be enough to thicken approximately 6 total cups of liquid. I was right. My soup looked like runny gravy. It tasted really good, but had zero appeal in the looks department. If I had to guess, I'd say this needs about 1/4 cup flour to thicken properly. Pros: Porcinis add a nice, deep flavor Cons: Not enough flour/thickening agent
November 19, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Loved It Absolutely loved this. Didnt use porcini as fresh mushrooms are cheap at the moment. I did make my own stock which took extra time but totally worth it. The barley was really good with the mushrooms Pros: Tasty Cons: Takes time
October 29, 2013
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By: Jennifer26
I had high expectations for this, but it was just okay. It didn't thicken for me, and wasn't as flavorful as I had hoped it would be. I tried the Sour Cream Mushroom Soup, also on this website, and I thought it was quite a bit better, a lot easier, and less costly. I'm not saying it's bad, but I just wish I didn't have all of this to eat by myself.
March 16, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious, savory and simple! Absolutely delicious! I didn't have the specialty dried mushrooms or the sherry, but it was still fantastic pared down to its essence. I substituted vegetable broth, dried thyme for the sage, and used half onion/half shallots, and used plain old white button mushrooms. I even threw the barley in with the broth; the separate steps no doubt add flavor, but I didn't have the time. Still wonderful. I think it will be a good early spring soup -- even though it's hearty, it's not too heavy. Make this soup!
November 30, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
In a word...YUM! Fantastic, hearty and thoroughly yummy soup. It was a hit at Thanksgiving and I'm ready for another batch. For a gal who doesn't really cook, this soup won me over. All the chopping was worth the end result.
November 13, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Best soup I've ever had. So I love mushrooms and have been on the lookout for a delicious mushroom soup that's thick and creamy with a depth of flavor. I found this one and thought I'd try it out. This soup is literally my favorite soup I have ever had. The sherry adds this wonderful unique flavor, and the barley and whole mushrooms give it an amazing texture. I made a vegan version, in which I used a 1/4 cup of coconut cream (the stuff from the top of a coconut milk can) at the end instead of sour cream. It was amazing and gave it the perfect amount of creaminess (no coconut taste whatsoever). I also used portabellas and brown crimini mushrooms instead of white mushrooms. I used mushroom broth and skipped the butter for sauteing (just used olive oil)--I added garlic as well. I just about died and went to heaven when I tried it. If you're a mushroom lover, you need to try making this soup! It's a little time-consuming, but fairly easy. I've made it twice so far (I used dried shitake mushrooms for second batch and it was delicious as well) and anticipate that it'll become a regular on my dinner table. It also keeps really well (I almost think it's better the next day because it thickens). Enjoy! Pros: Delicious, easy Cons: A little bit time-consuming