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Under 30 Minutes

Quickest Mushroom-Barley Soup

Have a pot of soup ready in just a half hour with quick-cooking barley. Lemon juice, parsley, and Parmesan wake up the mushrooms. Sauteing mushrooms and aromatics quickly builds a foundation of flavor. Finish the soup by adding remaining ingredients and simmering briefly.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Yield: Serves 4
Quickest Mushroom-Barley Soup

Source: Everyday Food, October 2008


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds white mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups canned reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 chunk (1 ounce) Parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

  2. Add broth and 2 cups water to pan; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to a simmer; add barley, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove soup from heat; stir in parsley and lemon juice. Serve garnished with Parmesan.

Cook's Note

Quick-cooking barley is pre-steamed and takes only 10 minutes to cook (regular pearl barley takes more than twice the amount of time and requires a lot more liquid).

Reviews (5)

  • jennarubenlove 22 Mar, 2011

    This soup was horrible. I've made many Martha Stewart recipes and I think this is one of her worst. The parsley was way too overpowering and distracting and I used the recommended amount. My husband didn't even like it and he'll eat anything. I won't ever make it again, but if you're gonig to make this I would recommend not using chicken broth and try either vegetable or the beef like someone else said they used. The chicken flavor did not go well with the mushrooms and barley.

  • SunflowerRae 4 Nov, 2008

    I couldn't find quick-cooking barley so I just precooked some pearl barley and added it. Still very easy.

  • grabr2002 4 Nov, 2008

    I used [filtered word]ake mushrooms and it came out so yummy!!

  • markybear 30 Oct, 2008

    This soup was delicious! I used cremini mushrooms, and beef stock. I also substituted fresh thyme for the dried. The parsley and lemon provide a nice counterpoint to the earthy flavors of the mushrooms and barely.

  • ehguy11 1 Oct, 2008

    This soup is quick and delicious! I used Baby Bella mushrooms (cremini mushrooms would be good too). I also used some Amontillado Sherry instead of lemon juice. These adjustments made this soup 'restaurant quality' in my opinion. Being vegetarian, I used vegetable broth. Excellent recipe!

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