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Deb’s Mushroom & Barley Soup

Nothing is more comforting than coming home to this rich soup! I prepare the ingredients the night before and start the slow cooker on my way out the door in the morning. —Debra Kamerman, New York, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 6 hours
  • Makes
    10 servings (3-1/2 quarts)


  • 1 pound sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup medium pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound ground turkey


  • Place first 9 ingredients and 2-1/2 teaspoons salt in a 6- or 7-qt. slow cooker.
  • In a large bowl, mix egg and remaining salt. Add turkey; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/4-in. balls; drop gently into slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low until vegetables and barley are tender, 6-8 hours.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 180 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 49mg cholesterol, 967mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 5g fiber), 15g protein.

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  • Stephanie
    Mar 10, 2020

    Does anyone know if this can be made in a pressure cooker?

  • Dawn
    May 21, 2019

    I made this last night, but did not use a crock pot. I used a 6 qt electric roaster instead and cooked it on low for almost 4 hrs. Followed the recipe for the most part. Added spices (Oregano, 21 salute trader joes, and fresh tarragon chopped) to the turkey balls and used fresh thyme. I also added chili flakes and two cloves of fresh garlic to spice it up. It turned out great. Very rich and delicious! Will make it again, will probably try very lean hamburger for the meatballs next time just to see how that works, and I would cut back on the salt and not use more that 2 tsp total.

  • Tomcatlover
    May 18, 2019

    Made a bit smaller in quantity (except same amount of turkey)

  • Sharon
    Feb 16, 2019

    I make a variety of soups and this is now my husband's favorite. I made no changes or substitutions except to use no-salt-added beef stock (Swanson’s 32 Oz. box). I seasoned with just a tiny bit of additional salt after I added the turkey. That’s only because I’m hyper sensitive to salt for some reason. I can’t eat canned soup or restaurant soup for that reason. This soup is full of flavor as is. And the best part is that it freezes well. The barley holds up unlike a noodle or rice soup. I was concerned that the mushrooms wouldn't freeze well....but they were great. Next time I think I’ll add some slight seasoning to the meatballs and I’ll use a few sprigs of fresh thyme....also some chili flakes for a little heat. I’m a diabetic and the barley adds the substance of a starch without spiking my blood glucose levels like rice or noodles. Thanks Deb. This is a winner for us in many ways.

  • jojakj
    Jan 13, 2017

    Delicious filling soup very flavorful