Creamy Mushroom Vegetable Soup (with barley)

33 Reviews / 4.9 Average
Inspired by Joy of Cooking, this Creamy Mushroom Vegetable Soup is the ultimate cold weather dinner. The barley makes it filling enough that it becomes a one-dish meal. Make sure to freeze the leftovers for busy nights.
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Creamy Mushroom Vegetable Soup from 100 Days of #RealFood

How about warming yourself up on this cold winter day with some hearty, rich mushroom vegetable soup? There are three reasons I love this recipe. (1) If you buy fresh mushrooms already sliced, it’s as “easy as pie” to make. (2) The barley that’s added turns this soup into a filling, one dish meal that you can eat for dinner without having to make anything else. (3) It’s just plain delicious!

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139 thoughts on “Creamy Mushroom Vegetable Soup (with barley)”

  1. This has been one of my go-to recipes of yours for years now! I have always used farro in place of the barley and cut the cooking time way down. My kids request it all the time. Will have to try with rice too!

  2. 5 stars
    We love the recipe. I have wild rice on hand, so I’d like to make it with that instead of barley. Anyone tried that? Anything I should do other than simmer longer?

    1. I would like to try this with brown rice instead of barley (for my gluten sensitive daughter). How would the cooking time change? Thanks!

      1. It might change a little bit as brown rice usually takes another 15 minutes or so to cook. – Nicole

  3. 5 stars
    1. This soup is incredible!! I would make it for dinner every week, if the rest of my family would eat it! That being so…
    2. Does this freeze well? If so, how would you do it? I’d love to be able to make this for myself and freeze it!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. I’ve frozen this one but the texture does change due to the cream.

  4. Has anyone tried making this in a crock pot? I like to have things ready when I get home from school so a crock pot would make this easier on me.

  5. 5 stars
    This soup has a delicious flavor but I must have done something wrong with the barley. It has an almost crunchy texture. Any suggestions on what I might have done incorrectly?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi. The barley should have softened during cooking but can feel a little firm. The longer you cook it, the softer it will get.

  6. HI! I made this soup last night with shiitake and oyster mushrooms. My son and husband and myself devoured this soup! My 4 year old son ate two huge bowls AND asked for it in his lunch today– that never happens. THANK YOU for the slow cooker chicken and stock recipe–I made the chicken for Sunday dinner; the stock that night which I used for the soup; I still have chicken for tonight’s tacos and broth for the sweet potato and apple soup recipe. Thank you!

  7. This soup is delicious! My 2.5 loved it, too. Thank you so much for easy, healthy, delicious recipes!

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. You can but the texture might not be what you want. You can also reserve the cream.

  8. This has cream in it. Sounds absolutely yummy. Am I right in thinking cream doesn’t freeze? I would like to make it and freeze some. Thanks.

  9. This soup was way better than I expected! I don’t like too much barley so I used a lentil and barley mix and the outcome was delicious. This will go on my weekly rotation, thank you for the recipe :)

  10. 5 stars
    Wow, this was way better than I was thinking it would be!! Such a yummy flavor. I didn’t have barley so I used farro. YUM!!

  11. hi!

    I love this soup and make it all the time as a lunch. First time I made it I didn’t have barley so I used bulgur and it tasted great….that’s what I use every time now. Would definitely recommend this!

  12. 4 stars
    This soup is amazing, it is now a favorite!! So easy to make, I did make a substitution- I didn’t have barley so I used a packet of quinoa and brown rice that I happen to have….loved it. I will make it with the barley next time. Thank you for the recipe.

    1. As I was reading the ingredients, I was thinking adding quinoa would be a great substitution for the barley, adds protein.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. I’m sure this is more info than you want but this quote comes directly from an article that has helped me greatly with my soups: “You may cook the soup covered or uncovered depending on the outcome you want. Leaving the lid off will make liquid evaporate faster, potentially creating a thicker and more flavorful soup. Leaving the lid on reduces the rate of evaporation; the soup ingredients may be finished, but the broth may not be rich enough (comingled enough) for your liking. I always cook my soups uncovered, keep an eye on them, and adjust ingredients as needed through a low and long cooking process.” Here’s a link to the whole article: :)

  13. 5 stars
    This was much better than anticipated. Made a big batch thinking it would be enough for a couple of meals but husband ate four bowls at dinner. Huge hit. Will add to my thumbs up list!

  14. 5 stars
    This was really delicious! I added a little thyme and bay leaf. I also started the barley in the stock first, and did the veggies in another pan, just to lessen the cooking time a bit. The hubs AND kiddos loved it!

  15. I substituted coconut oil for butter, farro for barley and coconut cream for heavy cream. It was delicious! One of my favorite soups! Thank you!

  16. Love, love, love this soup! It was absolutely delicious. Going to try it without the cream next time.

  17. 5 stars
    My 6 and 4 year olds loved this soup as much as i. I cooked mushrooms first, then took them out of the pan. Followed the recipe, then added them back when adding stock. Also kids decided to add parsley and rosemary from the garden and it worked. Yummy

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Ashely. We’ve not given that a try. If you do, please share your results.

    2. I made this and used coconut milk in place of heavy cream. I had tasted it for seasoning before adding it and definitely feel like it added a lot to the dish. Very yummy.

  18. This was delicious!!! I used brown rice and half n half because I had no cream. This is probably one of my favorite soups and it was so easy to make. The was my first time to make my own broth and that makes a huge difference. Thanks for the great recipe.

  19. 5 stars
    Cannot tell you how much I loved this! I got home later than expected and almost didn’t make it. SO glad I did! Only thing I changed was I had Mushroom Better then Bullion so I made broth with that instead of veg or chicken. I may use more next time as the barley soaked up a lot of broth after an o/n in the fridge. Was more of a mushroom stew this morning. Not complaining! It was filling and perfect for a cozy, late(r) dinner. By the way, pairs well with an IPA. ;)

  20. This soup is so yummy. I love it! I just wish I could get my kids to eat it. Oh well, more for me :)

  21. 5 stars
    Oh my god I love this soup. Was hearty and delicious. Am dieting so omitted the cream but replaced barley with quinoa and added a potato and a little vegetal, and extra onion and a small sprig of Thyme. Will definitely make again!

  22. This was absolutely delicious! The cream transformed the soup and my 18 month old devoured it the first time. I’m making it again today!

  23. 5 stars
    Huge hit with everyone in my family!! So rich and creamy….would make for company. Can’t wait to make it again!

  24. 5 stars
    This was amazing. The homemade chicken stock really helps it shine. I doubled the recipe, used quinoa instead of barley, and used Greek yogurt mixed with a little water in place of the heavy cream. My husband, two year old, and I all loved it and will make it again!

  25. 5 stars
    I made this for lunch today and it was delicious and a big hit with my 2 year old and 15 month old. I didn’t have barley so I used brown rice (ended up cooking it for 45 minutes) and I also increased the liquid from 4 cups to 6 cups to stretch it a bit, so we had enough for dinner too :) One thing that I’ve found makes a huge difference with soups is serving it with a bit of freshly grated Parmesan. It adds so much depth to the overall flavor (umami) and my girls rarely refuse anything with cheese!

  26. 5 stars
    Mmm, I made this for lunch today and it tastes so wonderful.
    I used lard instead of butter, mostly chicken and some vegetable stock (homemade and nice and thick!) and I didn’t have barley, so I used alphabet pasta.
    With or without cream, this soup is so flavourful (but the cream version is richer)!

  27. Just finished making this soup and it smells delicious!! I suggest that you cover the soup while cooking the barley or add more stock…I added an additional two cups.

  28. 5 stars
    Very good soup! I used olive oil instead of butter and omitted the cream entirely to make it vegan. We enjoyed it very much. I make my own veggie stock and I should have added some more herbs (I see someone put in thyme) because I thought it needed a bit more zing. I try to eliminate salt as much as possible, but I grow my own herbs, so I think next time I will dice up some fresh herbs as well. Any suggestions? Thanks! Wonderful recipe though!! Thanks for sharing!

  29. Wonderful! Wonderful! After following the sautéing directions of the recipe, I dumped everything into a crockpot and left it for a couple of hours. It smelled divine for that time, everyone was asking, “Wow, Mom What smells so good?” When my non-mushroom eaters found out it had mushrooms, they were a bit skeptical, but everyone tried it and loved it; yes, even my non-mushroom fans. I even forgot the cream, and it was still very good. I did add another 1/2 cup of barley to it, to fill it out a bit for my hungry boys. Excellent recipe!

    1. I was just about to comment about if you can put this is the crockpot…perfect! I will be giving this a try :) Thanks for commenting!

  30. Wow, this was a huge hit in our house tonight. The only thing I did differently was adding about 1 tsp of fresh thyme. Thank you so much!

  31. 5 stars
    So delicious! I wish I had doubled it. We almost ate it all and I want leftovers!! Will definitely be doubling it next time!

  32. 5 stars
    Made this last night and it was yummy! Very easy to make and inexpensive as well, especially if you make your own chicken stock.

  33. I made this soup for my family the other night….not only was it AMAZINGLY YUMMY but everyone loved it! My girls (5,7, and 9) all had 2nds and even asked for it in their lunches the next day….WIN!

    So nice to have one pot meal options!


  34. Is “quick pearled barley” the same as regular pearled barley? It’s all I could find at the grocery store.

  35. 5 stars
    This soup was extremely easy to make and I followed the recipe exactly. I served it alongside a salad with grilled chicken and all four of my daughters liked it – including my teenagers! They’ve asked me to make it again so they can take it for lunch. I’m definitely going to be making this again soon!

  36. 5 stars
    I just made this soup for dinner tonight and it was excellent. I pretty much made it as is and I loved it. Thanks for sharing the recipe, it is a keeper :)

  37. Loved it! I had some cooked farro on hand so I used that instead of the barley. I added it near the end to warm it before adding the cream. Delicious! Will definitely make this again – was terrific for a winter meal.

    1. Yes, Anvita. I followed the recipe through the sautéing part, then dumped everything into the crock pot for a couple of hours. Delicious!

  38. 5 stars
    Turned out great! I followed the recipe, except I used quinoa in place of pearled barley. Loved it! I will add it to the menu next month(I menu plan monthly).

  39. Made this last night as is with the exception of adding quinoa. I loved it; my husband loved it; my boys…not so much! I’m keeping the recipe for future meals!!

  40. I will definitely be adding this to my mealplan for next week! I don’t usually cook with heavy cream, so will probably try substituting with greek yogurt to add some creaminess.

    1. You may know this if you’ve subbed with yogurt before, but it helps to thin out greek yogurt with a little water and then stir the soup as you add it in. I’ve used yogurt instead of cream in curries and thinning it out keeps the yogurt from breaking up and gives your dish a smooth finish.

    1. I make venison broth with the same recipe as her chicken broth recipe in a big stock pot and let it simmer for about 24 hours. It’s awesome. I’m sure beef would work just as well.

  41. 5 stars
    I just made this and it is amazing! I don’t even like mushrooms very much and I can’t stop eating it! The only change I made was that I added leeks because I was low on shallots. I think it could use maybe a bit more broth, as the barley tended to soak up a lot of the broth. I will definitely make this recipe again.

  42. 5 stars
    I just finished eating a bowl of this and it was AMAZING!! I love mushrooms, so I figured I’d love this soup. I was right!! My hubby loved it too!! It is so flavorful even without a ton of different spices. We will definitely make it again and share the recipe! :D

  43. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday exactly as printed but left out the cream. I also substituted sweet onion for the shallots. Delicious!

  44. This is too funny – I just came to this site because I wanted to make vegetable soup! Cant wait to try it!

  45. 5 stars
    Yum…. just made this and it is wonderful. I added a few handfuls of fresh spinach at the end to up the vegetable content.

  46. This looks very good. I’m a big fan of wild rice, so maybe I’ll try it with that. The brown rice, quinoa or barley are all great ideas too. Keeping this recipe for sure, but just for me when I’m home alone for lunch, as I’m the only one in my house who eats mushrooms.

  47. The recipe sound pretty good, I might try it. But I am just wondering, is pearl barley in compliance with your rules? It has the bran removed and would be the equivalent of white rice. For the mushrooms, have you ever tried mushroom hunting?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi there. You can certainly replace the pearled barley with another form or another grain. One of my favorite memories from childhood was hunting for morels in damp forests with my dad. There is nothing like a fresh morel but it takes much patience and time. :) ~Amy

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Kathy. I made this last night (replaced barley with quinoa for a gluten free version) and my boys sure did. :) ~Amy

  48. I just so happened to have mushrooms on hand and no idea what to do with them..making this now! I’m using quinoa..I didn’t have barley.

  49. Would love to make this tonight but I don’t have barley on hand, how about white beans or quinoa? Thanks!

    1. Kim, use cashew cream to replace the heavy cream. Blend 1/4 cup raw cashews with slightly more than that of water – enough to blend it into a thick cream. It is the perfect non-dairy base for soups and sauces!

    2. Hi Kim, We are also dairy-free and have been using coconut milk to replace milk in some recipes. It has that “creaminess” of heavy cream but does alter the taste in some recipes; you may have to experiment. :)

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