This kosher hearty mushroom and barley soup recipe is one of our favorite to make during the fall/winter months. Fast, easy to put together, and it tastes amazing. We like to make this on those days when you want something filling and healthy. This recipe is kosher, vegan, pareve, and dairy free.
Use Fresh Vegetables
As with most vegetable based dishes, the secret is to use fresh vegetables; frozen veggies simply will not do. The produce needed is easily found year round at any local market. To make this kosher mushroom and barley soup recipe you will need fresh:
A Meal In Itself
Mushroom barley soup is great as a meal or a side dish. The ingredients used in the kosher mushroom barley soup recipe are most of the same base ingredients used in a lot of roasts and heavier meat dishes. There are a lot of similarities in the flavors that go into mushroom based dishes and meat dishes. This is because mushrooms and meat share many of the same qualities. This is why mushrooms are often used as a substitute for meat.
The barley has a high fiber content which works to fill out the texture profile. Not to mention that the fibrous barley adds to the overall nutrition of the dish.
Tips For This Recipe
Mushroom barley soup is quick and easy to make. Start by chopping the vegetables and and saute in a large heavy bottom pan or better yet a cast iron skillet. Make sure you use enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Also do not make the pan too hot, you don't want to burn anything.
Once the vegetables are tender toss them into the stock pot with the liquid and herbs and go watch a few hours of Mad Men (still Caryn's favorite show). Grab an Old Fashioned, sit back, relax, and after 2 episodes the soup is done.
Which Mushrooms To Use
When picking out fresh mushrooms for the kosher mushroom barley soup recipe there are just so many options. Even a local non-specialty market will have at least three to four varieties of mushrooms to choose from. How is one supposed to decide which mushrooms to buy? It will depend on your tastes. Here is a brief flavor profile of the most common mushrooms you will find in the grocery store:
- White button: your standard work horse mushroom that you are probably used to buying on a regular basis. They are usually sold in cellophane wrapped packages and will be pre-sliced or whole. This is a very mild mushroom that will not have as strong a flavor as some of the others on this list.
- Crimino (Crimini pl.): a young portobello mushroom with a little bit more flavor than the white button mushroom. The flavor will be similar, just a little bit stronger.
- Portobello: the prime rib of mushrooms. A meaty texture and rich umami flavor make this mushroom a favorite when you really want to taste the mushroom. This mushroom is usually larger and you can buy it whole or just the mushroom cap. Either way, you will need to slice this one by hand to make it cook properly in the soup.
- Shitake: smaller than the portobello (about the same size as the crimino), these mushrooms have lighter flavor but carry notes of woodsy oak. Use this mushroom if you want to vary the flavor profile slightly.
- Oyster: this is the weirdest looking of the commonly found mushrooms. It looks kind of like a brown head of cabbage. This one will also need to be sliced before using it. Much like the shitake mushroom, this one has a very earthy flavor but it can be also be a little more gamy. This will also change the flavor profile but is well worth experimenting with.
- If this list didn't provide a large enough selection of mushrooms to choose from you can also visit our Cooking Tips page for more mushroom suggestions.
Variations and Suggestions
This kosher mushroom and barley soup recipe tastes great using just the recipe provided but who doesn't like some variations. You can also try adding:
- Chicken or beef
- Sriracha to spice it up
- Shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- Serve the soup in a bread bowl
Hearty Mushroom Barley Soup
- 6 quart stockpot
- 1 lb mushroom sliced
- 1.5 cups onion chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 cup carrot chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 quarts vegetable stock or water
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tbsp dill minced
- 2 tbsp parsley minced
- 1 cup pearl barley
- Over medium heat, add olive oil to a 6- quart stockpot. Add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Saute until tender but not browned. Add mushrooms and cook until just soft.
- Add stock, salt, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, dill, parsley, and barley.
- Simmer for 2 hours or until barley is tender.