Saturday 17 January 2009

mushroom & barley soup

This recipe is vegetarian, but it certainly feels meaty.

Perhaps it’s because there are so many chunky pieces of mushroom and a rich earthiness to the broth, but it’s so “meaty” some vegetarians might be concerned about what they’re eating!

Never fear, this truly is a vegetarian recipe submitted to the vegetarian food blogging event No Croutons Required. January’s theme is ‘vegetable soup’ in order to built up the nutrients lost during the excesses and gluttony of the festive period.

Our host, Lisa from Lisa's Kitchen, wants us to focus on vegetable concoctions so instead of using a variety of different veggies I've gone with a variety of mushrooms. The barley just adds to the hearty, nutritiousness of it all.

Although I’m in the middle of my summer, and this soup is suited to cooler weather, I thought I’d offer it up to my blogging pals in the northern hemisphere who are shivering through one of the coldest winters in a long while.

Mushroom & Barley Soup

Recipe by Maggie Beer. Serves 4.


850ml vegetable stock
200g pearl barley (cooked in 1½L water for 1hr)
200g onion, diced
100g shitake mushrooms
200g Swiss brown mushrooms
200g field mushrooms
80ml sherry
40g butter
20g dried porcini (soaked overnight in 500 ml hot water)
20g salt
10g garlic
10g rosemary
3g fresh thyme
1g pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, to serve


1. After barley has cooked in 1½ litres water for an hour, strain.

2. Melt butter and fry onion until translucent.

3. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and cook together.

4. Reserving the liquid, strain the porcini (which were soaked overnight in water) and chop.

5. Add chopped porcini, reserved porcini liquid, precooked barley, stock and sherry to the onion mixture.

6. Chop the shitake, swiss brown and field mushrooms

7. In another pan, sauté the mushrooms in olive oil, seasoning with salt.

8. Add mushrooms to the barley and stock.

9. Cook for approx 10 minutes and season with black pepper.

10. Serve topped with chopped parsley.

Note: This can of course be made with all one kind of mushroom to equal 500g.

UPDATE: Thanks to all the wonderful people who voted for my soup! My soup has officially made me the No Croutons Required January Winner! Can you believe that this is the first ever blogging competition/honour I have won? I've come in a close second before, but never won. Thanks everyone! And thanks Maggie Beer for the recipe in the first place.



  1. This is a fabulous entry Anna! I just love mushrooms. Thank you. Did you send us an email regarding your lovely submission? I don't see one in the inbox.

  2. That mushroom soup looks and sounds really good!

  3. That does look amazing!

  4. This sure sounds delicious especially with barley in it.

  5. Oh, this soup looks perfect for the gray, rainy winter Paris weather we're having today!

  6. Looks like a great combination -- the plainness of barley with the awesome flavour of shitake -- you can't go wrong!

  7. I have just had a look at the No Croutons Required lineup and was drooling over your soup! I just had to come over and look at the recipe :)

    Good Luck!

  8. That looks delicious, I love mushroom soup!

  9. This sounds so good. I love barley, also mushrooms.
    I was actually researching Argentina, & found your Shepherd's Pie recipe link!

  10. Congratulations on winning No Croutons Required with your gorgeous soup :)

  11. Congratulations on your win!!


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