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Robust Mushroom and Barley Soup

I adore the flavor and meatiness of mushrooms!   I like them equally ~ whether raw, sautéed in butter, or in my savory mushroom and mustard casserole.  But, I’ve been addicted to soup lately, probably because it has been very cold, windy and snowy here.  So, a while ago, when I saw the recipe for mushroom soup in The Chicago Tribune, I knew I had to try it.

This recipe I’m sharing with you combines mild earthy, fresh button mushrooms with the nutty-woodsy flavor of dried porcini mushrooms.  Both the texture and flavor of these mushrooms remind me of meat.  Mushrooms, being like tiny sponges, soak up the flavor of the sautéed shallots and garlic, giving them an appealing hearty flavor. 

I made a few changes in the recipe:  I added Montreal seasoning, substituted button mushrooms for cremini, since the grocery store had none; and, I added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to enhance the flavor of the mushrooms.  The recipe called for ½ cup of barley.  We really like barley, so I upped it to 1 cup for a thicker full-bodied soup.

Like I said, this soup is perfect for a cold winter day.  Just be sure to serve it with plenty of rustic bread alongside for sopping up every last bit of soup.  This is my “new favorite” soup!

Porcinis soaking

Porcinis sliced


Mushroom and Barley Soup                        


1 package (1 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound button mushrooms, wiped clean
8 cups beef bro, vthery low-sodium
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 cup pearl barley
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley, for garnish


Place porcini mushrooms in a bowl.
Cover with 2 cups boiling water.
Soak, submerged with a small plate, 20 minutes.
Squeeze liquid from mushrooms and reserve.
Slice mushrooms.

Warm oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat.
Add shallots and garlic; cook until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes.
Remove shallots mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
Add button mushrooms and cook until their liquid releases, about 5-8 minutes.
Stir in shallot and garlic mixture, beef broth, thyme, reserved mushroom liquid and reconstituted porcini.
Add Montreal Steak Seasoning and heat to a boil.
Stir in barley; reduce heat to a simmer.
Cook, partially covered, until barley is tender, about 40 minutes.
Stir in balsamic vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 5 minutes.
Top with parsley and serve.
6 servings

Ummmm, mmmm, good!!!  My “new favorite” soup!


  1. I like how you describe the dish, and I like the word "robust" and "hearty". This does look awesome, and I can just imagine it is as flavorful as it looks.

  2. really look nice and tasty Pam! gloria

  3. Wow...I know we would love this!!

  4. I just finished 9 days of eating mushrooms so you'd think I wouldn't want to see another shroom for a week. But I feel under the weather and I want to make this tonight!

  5. I have long been a fan of beef or lamb and barley soup. However, this version is very appealing. Isn't it curious that among the things you can buy frozen or in cans, barley is not among them?

  6. Que rico plato, exquisitos.


  7. I love mushrooms! And soup! "Robust" is a great way to describe how your soup looks--Yum! :)

  8. MMmmmm, that looks delicious girl!

    I'm in the process of pork tenderloins, mashed 'taders and fresh corn for tonight but I'm thinkin' the soup will make a great weekend dish for a cold evenin'!

    Thanks sweetie!!!

    God bless ya Pam and have a phenomenal day!!! :o)

  9. We eat a lot of soup in the winter. This sure sounds good. I don't have barley, but I bet farro would be a good sub!

  10. This recipe sounds fantastic! I, too, am a huge fan of mushrooms.

  11. This is one I will love mushrooms and these are huge!

  12. I can see why this is your new favorite soup. The flavors sound wonderful. I am a big mushroom fan, and this sounds like the perfect wintertime soup:)

  13. Being the mushroom lover that I am, I will definetly try this soup. Robust is the perfect description for a soup with good mushrooms...
    thanks for sharing..

  14. I want any soup that starts with the word ... robust.


  15. I have never bought dry mushrooms, but I guess you can make this with fresh as well. Diane

  16. I wish Chris did not despise mushrooms so much. This soups sounds amazingly good - I might just have to make this next time he's out of town!! :)

  17. Lyndsey, thanks! Robust seems like the perfect word to me.

    Gloria, thanks so much!

    Torviewtoronto, yes, it's healthy too!

    Susan, it's great for anyone who loves mushrooms!

    Chris, that's a lot of shrooms but, I hope this makes you feel much better if you try it!

    Stephen, thanks. I never really thought about it but you're right! I really like the addition of barley to a dish.

    jose manuel, gracias! Que tengas un buen dia!

    Tiffany, thanks! It's a great word!

    Nezzy, thanks! I want dinner at your house!!! You have a fantastic day! Hugs

    Karen, thanks! I've never had farro but am guessing it would be good also.

    Tracy, thanks! I don't think a week goes by without mushrooms here a day or two.

    Claudia, thanks! They are! lol I don't know where they came from but they were on the large size for sure.

    Raina, thank you! I will be definitely be making this soup again soon.

    Shug, thanks! The broth was so good and helped to make it robust.

    Glenda, lol, thanks!

    Diane, yes, all fresh would be fine. I used fresh button mushrooms and dried porcini but most fresh ones would work fine, I think.

    Jenn, I know what you mean as my younger son, Matt does not care for them either so hope you give it a try the next time you're solo! :-)

  18. I like your mushrooms soup Pam, it looks delicious!

  19. this is gorgeous! i love mushrooms! i can't wait to try this!

  20. Just sending out an alert!!! YOUR mushroom soup is simmering on my stove as I type!! Yipeeee

  21. That broth looks so good and all of the flavors in this soup sound amazing! I love the idea of adding the balsamic and montreal steak seasoning - so much flavor to perk up a mushroom and barley soup. Love it!

  22. Hi Pam, Greetings from Malaysia! I'm glad I came across your blog..shall make regular visit to your kitchen!

  23. Zia Elle, thank you! It's good!

    teresa, great! Thanks!

    Susan, woo hoo! Enjoy! I hope you like it as much as we do! Let me know...

    Becki, thanks! The Montreal seasoning works great with the mushrooms.

    What's Baking?? Welcome! I'm glad you stopped by and I will be visiting you soon. Love your "name and can't wait to see what's baking!"

  24. Every Monday i make us a pot of you that will serve as lunch for the week. Guess what I am making next; this looks so good. I pinned it; i cannot find you Follow Me pin on your blog.

  25. This sounds like a lovely and warming soup, I would love to try porcini mushroom one day! have a lovely weekend.

  26. I love barley, too - and soup! Looks wonderful.

  27. Yum! I can see why it is your "new favorite"!

  28. oooh - I adore mushroom soup - but this looks a bit different with a lot of oomph and attitude. Need to give it a go !

  29. We are crazy about soup! I love the changes you made to the recipe. I will be making this soup this week!

  30. Perfect soup for a cold winter's day. This recipe is on my to do list.

  31. Rita, that's a great way to take care of lunch for the week and I must do the same. No, I don't have a follow me pin here; I should do that!

    Jeannie, thank you. Here's hoping you have a great day.

    katiez, thanks! I love barley in soups, esp. vegetable soup.

    Judy, yes, This is a good soup!

    Sarah, lol. Yes, soup with an attitude.

    Linda, thanks! Guess you're still in Vegas?

    Angela, I hope you like it as much as I do, if you try it!


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