Mushroom-Barley Soup for the end of the world

According to the weather man tomorrow night the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Maine is going to shut down, as they are predicted to get 2 feet of snow…. um yeah. I’ve heard gas stations are running low on fuel and schools have closed before a single flake of snow has fallen. Nothing is better then some hearty soup on a snow day (besides a little Baileys in your hot chocolate or just more Baileys in your Baileys, but who’s counting). At least I’ve got a glass of fresh Limoncello to calm me down. This is one of my mom’s favorite soup recipes and as I am home in CT (the war zone) we decided to make it together. Barley makes this soup healthy and filling.

Fresh and dried mushrooms make the broth super flavorful and rich. It’s the perfect meal on its own or pairs with a sandwich, salad or main course too! Double the recipe and freeze some for the next blizzard of the century. You’ll definitely enjoy this soup and we all know you’ll have the time to cook it because if work hasn’t already been canceled for you, I know you’ll be calling in “sick.” Happy snow day everyone!

Mushroom-Barley Soup


  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
  • 2 medium carrots (5 1/2-6 ounces), trimmed, peeled and thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion (4 ounces), peeled and very thinly sliced (1 cup)
  • 6 ounces domestic mushrooms, washed and very thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • about 1 ounce dried mushrooms (1/2 cup), crushed into small pieces in a mini-chop or with a mortar and pestle
  • 2 cups white chicken stock or lower-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (adjust if canned broth is used)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves


  1. Place the barely in a sauce pan with 3 cups of the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce the eat to low and boil very gently for 50 to 60 minutes. The barely should be tender but not mushy. set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. add the carrots and onion and cook over high heat for 1 minute.
  3. Add the domestic mushrooms, dried mushrooms, stock or broth and the remaining 2 cups water.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and boil gently for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the pepper, salt and barley with its liquid.
  6. Bring back to a boil. Stir in parsley.

Original recipe from Jacques Pepin’s Simple and Healthy Cooking.


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