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Mushroom Barley Soup

Bacon adds a smoky flavor to this earthy soup; tomato paste adds a touch of sweetness. Use quick-cooking barley as a time-saver. It has the same nutty flavor as pearl barley, but it cooks in approximately half the time.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Mushroom Barley Soup

Source: Everyday Food, January/February 2004

Ingredients

  • 3 strips bacon (3 to 4 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound button or cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. In a large pot (6 to 8 quarts), cook bacon over medium-high heat, stirring often, until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.

  2. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is starting to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until they are tender and pot is almost dry, 5 to 10 minutes (depending on type of mushrooms). Stir in tomato paste, and cook 1 minute more.

  3. Add broth, barley, oregano, and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, until barley is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add more water to thin soup, as needed. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in vinegar. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with parsley.

Reviews (5)

  • JewelryHoldersForYou 8 Feb, 2014

    We were expecting a decent soup, though it turned out FABULOUS. We both loved it, and making it again tonight- with adding some beef stew to it. You do have to adjust the flavors to your liking, I recall adding a little bit more red vinegar. This is a new favorite for us!!!

  • 19Yumi79 18 Jan, 2011

    Oh man! My boyfriend and I loved this! 100%! I will be making it again and again. I used beef bouillon cubes instead of stock. So about two cups of water and 3 cubes then later added 3 more cups of water. I made this with the Onion Focaccia that was in this month's Everyday Foods.

  • AdMom 19 Feb, 2009

    Very disappointing. Won't be making it again.

  • mbertolo 25 Feb, 2008

    This soup was OK, not great. Lacked flavor, tasted like something was missing. Followed directions to the letter. Needs lots of salt for any taste at all. If I made this again I would add some beef to it and maybe a little wine.

  • Kittywampus 21 Feb, 2008

    One of the people I served this to said "This is the best soup I have ever eaten."

    I cut back on the vinegar to half what was called for. But it did brighten up the taste. It is so little vinegar as to be unidentifiable in the soup. Same thing with the tomato paste - there is not enough to be identifiable, but it seems to sharpen up all the other tastes.

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