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Quick Mushroom Barley Soup

I surprised my mother with a visit some years ago, and she was preparing this soup when I walked in. It was so wonderful that I asked for the recipe, and I’ve been fixing it ever since. —Edie Irwin, Cornwall, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, carrot and onion; cook and stir 5-6 minutes or until tender. Add water and barley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 12-15 minutes or until barley is tender.
  • In a small bowl, mix flour, milk, salt and pepper until smooth; stir into soup. Return to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 196 calories, 7g fat (3g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 654mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 5g fiber), 8g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 whole milk, 1/2 fat.

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  • smeisner
    Jul 18, 2020

    I love mushroom barley soup! I reconstituted dried porcini mushrooms and used them; wish I’d included the mushroom water. Might add celery next time as someone else added and maybe vegetable broth for more flavor. Also used regular barley.

  • Chris
    Jan 16, 2020

    I made the recipe as is with no changes and felt it was very bland. It is a good basic soup but needs additional seasonings

  • pvhdeerfield
    Sep 24, 2017

    I really like this soup! Very easy, satisfying and delicious.I did make a few changes: as written, the recipe has way too much salt for me, so I reduced the salt by 2/3 (only using 1/2 tsp. for the whole pot, which was plenty). I added two packets of Herb-Ox No Sodium Chicken Bouillon (an excellent product, a very flavorful and versatile ingredient for those of us who need to watch their salt intake), 1 tsp. dried thyme, and a wee sprinkling of low sodium lemon pepper seasoning instead of black pepper. I also added a couple of chopped up stalks of celery because I find it gives a nice depth of flavor. I also didn't have quick-cooking barley and used regular, just-plain-barley (not pearled) and increased the total cooking time to 30 or 40 minutes. A treat and I'm looking forward to enjoying the leftovers!

  • Susie77
    Mar 11, 2017

    Great basic recipe that I've made twice. Changed it up the second time with two types of mushrooms -- baby portobellos and buttons. I also added fresh dill and thyme from our garden (no reason we can't use dried as well, right?).

  • rwingmom
    May 1, 2016

    I love this soup!!! In answer to other comments, if you need more flavor by all means add more salt or herbs. I thought it was delicious and I added a little extra salt to my bowl. I also used canned mushrooms which also worked. That liquid was part of the 2 cups of water.

  • kitchenmaid
    Feb 24, 2016

    Very good and quick and easy. Will make again.

  • rjbeery75
    Dec 13, 2015

    I used 2 cups of mushrooms according to a suggestion and added thyme. It was great!

  • rwippel
    Dec 3, 2015

    This soup is lacking in flavor. It needs some kind of seasoning. Also I couldn't find quick cooking barley so I used regular and cooked it longer.

  • i_like_pie
    Dec 1, 2015

    I enjoyed this soup for something different, especially since I really like barley. Like other reviewers, I also had to use regular barley (precooked), and I just added it without any extra water. I also used fat free milk and believe the flavor was not impaired. I do think it needs some kind of additional spice. I will try the thyme as suggested.

  • interpretermom
    Nov 21, 2015

    I thought this lacked flavor. The only seasoning was the salt and pepper. My family ate it but no one was impressed.