Easy Mushroom Barley Soup

Hearty, rich, delicious, and nutritious, this easy Mushroom Barley Soup recipe is a keeper! This is the perfect soup on a chilly day, and it’s loaded with veggies and tender barley, so it’s as satisfying as it is tasty.

Easy mushroom barley soup in a white bowl, garnished with sprouts

I love soup; I love how flavorful they are, and this Mushroom Barley Soup is no exception. The barley in it soaks up all the flavor from the broth, and the mushrooms are meaty and tender. There are many veggies in this soup, making it a great pick to sneak some extra vegetables into the kids.

There’s nothing better than a pot of soup cooking low-and-slow on the stovetop. The kids would come home and rush to the stove, begging me for a bowlful of soup as a snack, and we would often have soups for dinner – not just lunch.

This is an easy soup to make, and it’s ready in under an hour. Plus, it’s made in one pot, so cleanup is a breeze.

What is Barley?

If you’ve never had barley, you’re in for a treat! When cooked, the barley is tender but still with a bit of chew, and it soaks up all the flavor from the broth. 

Barley is a type of grain used in breads, drinks, stews, soups, and more. It is loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

Barley is available in two forms: hulled and pearled. Pearl barley is most commonly found, and it is the grain with the hull and bran removed. It is more processed than hulled barley, and takes less time to cook, but it also has less nutrition than hulled barley.

In this recipe, I suggest you use pearl barley, as it is the easiest to find and cooks more quickly.

Easy mushroom barley soup in a white bowl, garnished with sprouts


  • Olive oil – Or your favorite cooking oil.
  • Onion – Yellow or white onion is fine.
  • Carrots – Diced small.
  • Celery – Chopped into small pieces.
  • Garlic – Fresh is best!
  • Mushrooms – Sliced fresh mushrooms.
  • Chicken broth – Homemade or buy low-sodium chicken broth.
  • Barley – Pearl barley.
  • Salt and pepper – To taste.

How to Make Mushroom and Barley Soup

You only need 1 pot for this delicious soup!

  1. Heat the oil in your soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and cook until tender.
  3. Stir in the sliced mushrooms and cook until they start to soften. 
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and add the barley.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. 
  6. Cover and simmer until the barley is tender.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, and serve!

Recipe Tips

  • Chop the carrots and celery about the same size – I like them diced small enough to fit several pieces on a spoon. 
  • Covering the soup will allow the flavors to develop without your soup evaporating, so use a tightly fitting lid.
  • You can use hulled barley in this soup, but you may need to add extra cooking time.
Easy mushroom barley soup in a white bowl


There are many different ways to change up the flavors in this Mushroom and Barley Soup recipe. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Change up the mushrooms – I’ve used button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms, and even meaty portabella mushrooms (scrape the gills off with a spoon before adding them to the soup.)
  • Use beef broth or vegetable broth instead of chicken. If you use vegetable broth, this will be a vegetarian Mushroom Barley Soup.
  • Add some protein to the soup – 1-2 cups of leftover chicken (like rotisserie chicken) works perfectly in this soup.

How to Serve

Give me a big bowlful of soup, and I’m a happy gal. I love this soup all on its own, but I’ll also serve smaller portions of it as an appetizer before a casserole or with a roast or salad, and I also like to pair a bowl of this soup with a delicious sandwich.

Storage Instructions

Barley Mushroom Soup will keep well in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days. However, barley will keep absorbing the liquid in the soup, and after a few days, your soup will look more like a stew.

If you have leftovers, I urge you to strain the soup – package the soup broth separately from the chunks of veggies and barley. Then, heat them together to eat them again.

This soup will also freeze well for up to 3 months.

Is Mushroom Barley Soup easy?

Yes, this is an easy recipe. There’s some chopping involved, but it all cooks in 1 pot and will be ready in about an hour!

Is Mushroom Barley Soup vegan?

Not as the recipe is written, no. All you have to do to make this soup vegan is use vegetable broth instead of chicken. That’s it!

Is Mushroom Barley Soup good for you?

Yes! This soup is low in fat and is packed with vegetables. It’s also low in calories so that you can splurge on dessert!

Easy mushroom barley soup in a white bowl, garnished with sprouts


  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 Cup diced carrots small pieces
  • 1/2 Cup chopped celery
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 8 Cups low sodium chicken broth vegetable broth may also be used
  • 1 Cup barley
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic; cook and stir until onions are tender and transparent. Stir in mushrooms and continue to cook for a few minutes.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and add barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until barley is tender, about 50 minutes. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

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