Mushroom Barley Soup


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Mushroom Barley Soup

A great soup as the weather begins to take on a chill in the air. Or become airish as we used to call it when I was a kid. Use a variety of mushrooms to change up the flavors.


  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3/4 to 1 pound of beef (round or chuck), cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 ribs celery, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup barley, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • kale leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large sauce pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Brown the meat.
  2. When the meat is brown, add onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until slightly softened.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the barley, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the herbs.
  6. Add the beef stock, water, and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Add salt and pepper.
  8. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Then reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until barley and vegetables are almost soft. Add kale leaves if desired, and cook until soft.
  9. Check for seasoning.


This soup can be made with pieces of chicken and chicken stock. Or, make a vegetarian version by leaving out the meat and using vegetable stock or water. If using water, you'll want to up the spices and herbs. Barley absorbs a lot of liquid. Keep some hot water available in case you have to add more.


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