Cream of Mushroom & Barley Soup


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

Cook Time:
50 mins
Additional Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 15 mins
4 servings, about 1 3/ cups each


  • ½ 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

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup dry sherry, (see Ingredient Note)

  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream

  • ¼ cup minced fresh chives


  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 Facts (per serving)

368 Calories
12g Fat
44g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size about 1 3/4 cups
Calories 368
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 17g 34%
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Vitamin A 885IU 18%
Vitamin C 9mg 10%
Folate 58mcg 14%
Sodium 437mg 19%
Calcium 92mg 7%
Iron 4mg 23%
Magnesium 58mg 14%
Potassium 1045mg 22%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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