Mushroom-Barley Soup

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fresh mushrooms for mushroom barley soupThis rich, vegetarian soup is a favorite in our house. Serves 4.


  • 1 onion
  • 500 grams (1 lb.) fresh mushrooms, any type or combination of types
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2  cloves chopped garlic
  • 3/4 cups barley
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons Tamari sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Slice onion and mushrooms and saute in oil for 5 minutes in a large pot or pressure cooker. Beware, the barley will make a lot of foam.
  2. Add the barley and liquid.
  3. Cook for half an hour, or 10 minutes in the pressure cooker after it has reached full steam. Let the cooker cool off before opening to avoid barley starch shooting all over the room. If you don’t have time for this, cook everything together, except for parsley) for 20 minutes and then let depressurize naturally.
  4. Add sliced carrots, sliced celery, garlic, and Tamari sauce. Cook again for 30 minutes, or 10 in the pressure cooker.
  5. Add parsley and serve.

Alternate instructions:

This method takes a little more time, but adds flavor. Divide vegetables in two parts. Chop one part finely, and slice the rest. Saute the chopped vegetables for 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and onions and saute a few minutes longer. Then continue with #2 of the instructions, adding the sliced carrots and celery as directed.

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Photo credit: kdbest

This recipe has been submitted to Vegetarian Fridays.


  1. Looks like I know what soup I’ll be making for this Shabbat 🙂 . Thanks!

  2. I’ve been eating this soup for almost 48 years, cooking it for over 28 years, but for some reason it’s never entered my psyche as a parve dish. I always use meat broth, made from a brisket furiously cooked in a pressure cooker (brisket is then served separately with a sauce or gravy). It adds an incredible richness to this soup. Lately, for the last few years, as part of my fusion movement in Jewish cooking, I’ve added dried and rehydrated shitake and forest mushrooms. Getting some of those in your bowl, alongside the fresh button mushrooms, is a real treat!

    I like your idea of adding Tamari sauce, will give that one a try next time, thanks!

  3. Ms. Krieger says

    mmm…mushrooms. I’ve been using dried porcini mushrooms in soups a lot lately, after finding them on sale at the grocer. I soak them first in hot water and then add the broth along with the mushrooms. Delicious…mmmm….

  4. Knowing that this is one of your favorites means I am definitely going to give it a try! I’ve been craving mushroom soup too so great timing!!


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