Mushroom & Barley Soup

Nothing like a brisk, cold, northern wind smacking you in the face to get you into the mood for soup.

I have been in soup mode since our Thanksgiving a month ago and have already made and ate several hundred bowls of home made turkey soup, squash soup and tomato mushroom soup.  This time though I had a hankering for barley…. but alas, no beef or beef stock to make it out of.  Since I am the queen of kitchen improv, I utilized the last of my turkey stock along with a mittenful of mushrooms.

The result?

Fantastic if I do say so myself…

With no meat in it (except the turkey stock part), this soup is light but the addition of the mushrooms darkens the broth and you would swear it was made from a beef base.  If you like mushrooms, then you will love this soup!  If you don’t, perhaps this one will be more to your liking…

I always share my kitchen successes….never my failures, but I will tell you on occasion what may not have worked for me in the past…maybe.

Mushroom & Barley Soup


1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried, crushed thyme or 1 tsp fresh, chopped thyme
2 fresh sage leaves, chopped
3/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
3 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
8 cups home-made turkey stock *
2 cups baby spinach leaves, torn


In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium-low heat, add onions and cook until translucent, stirring often. Add garlic, thyme, sage and black pepper. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add mushrooms, increase heat just a tich to quickly get the mushrooms softened and the liquid coming out of them (about 5-6 minutes).

Add turkey stock and barley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let simmer for at least an hour or until the barley is cooked through.

Remove from heat, uncover and add spinach. Stir until wilted.  Taste and adjust seasonings* if necessary.   Serve with crusty bread and a side salad.

Makes about 8 cups.
*Note ~ this recipe can be made vegetarian by swapping the turkey stock for veggie stock.   Also, please note I do not use salt in most of my recipes due to a family member with hypertension, but feel free to add it to your own pot of yummy goodness.

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