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Mushroom Barley Soup

A few years ago, a friend at work shared the recipe for this wonderful soup. With beef, barley and vegetables, it's hearty enough to be a meal. A big steaming bowl with a slice of crusty bread is so satisfying on a cold day. —Lynn Thomas, London, Ontario
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 1-3/4 hours
  • Makes
    about 11 servings (2-3/4 quarts)


  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) beef broth
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup medium pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon salt, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  • In a Dutch oven or stockpot, cook meat in oil over medium heat until no longer pink. Remove meat with a slotted spoon; keep warm and set aside.
  • Saute onions, carrots and celery in drippings over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme; cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in broths, water, barley, salt if desired and pepper.
  • Return meat to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until barley and meat are tender. Add parsley.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 220 calories, 13g fat (0 saturated fat), 43mg cholesterol, 65mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 14g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 meat, 1 vegetable, 1/2 starch.

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Average Rating:
  • Candace
    Feb 8, 2021

    Found this recipe in one of the TOH newstand cookbooks (that I purchased) years ago and it has been one of my favorites ever since. Usually make it per the recipe but today I'm adding a tad bit of Worcestershire sauce to the sauted meat and veg. Think it'll give it a nice bit more savory.... not that it was lacking.

  • Gregg
    Apr 16, 2020

    This is a great soup! If you take your time and pat dry the stew meat, then salt and pepper it and brown it really helps to develop a deep flavor. I cooked the veggies longer also to develop more flavor. Make sure you simmer the soup and not boil, otherwise veggies will be mush... perfectly done at 1.5 hours of simmering.

  • Sherri
    Mar 12, 2020

    I am on a strict sodium diet as it can put me into the ICU. I don’t understand how the sodium can be that low with two cans of broth plus the amount normally found in meat.

  • Bobi0829
    Jan 7, 2020

    Very good, used baby Bella’s so the taste was kind of on the earthy side. This will be in the regular rotation. Next time I will try a couple of splashes of Worcester sauce.

  • Janis
    Dec 12, 2019

    I have made this soup for years. I used to own 25 years worth of Taste of home cookbooks until I downsized into a tiny house and unfortunately had to downsize them. But I am still a die hard fan! And even after my divorce this was and is my ex husbands favorite soup and I still make it for him like I am today. It’s amazing. Today I played with recipe using Japanese barley, I also used Crimini mushrooms.

  • Jim
    Nov 20, 2019

    If this is cooked too long the barley and veggies get mushy. Flavor? We found it a bit bland but didn’t want to add a lot of salt.

  • cindyames
    Sep 19, 2019

    Love this soup,, better next day and freezes well

  • Lee
    Sep 12, 2019

    Can I make this in a crock pot if so how long do I cook it?

  • Tammy
    Sep 9, 2019

    I tried this for the first time when TOH printed it years ago. It’s my husbands favorite soup, and I’m always asked to share the recipe. Tip- I like to switch up the meat sometimes and use Italian sausage, other times, half beef, half sausage. Love the extra spice and flavor it adds!

  • pattygray11
    Jan 26, 2019

    Again, the nutrition values are way off. 65 mg of sodium per serving? With 2 cans of broth? Zero grams of fiber?