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This Creamy Morel Mushroom Barley Soup is an easy and delicious way to get your mushroom fix in a healthy way. Can be made with either fresh or dried morel mushrooms.

Growing up both my maternal and paternal grandmothers made mushroom barley soup, both delicious but both uniquely different. One was more of canned mushroom soup plus barely the other was more homemade but with a little chicken bullion cheat.

Admittedly, I’m slurping down my 3rd bowl of Mushroom Barley soup and it’s only 2:30 pm. I made the first batching using white button mushrooms, using my Grandma Elsie’s recipe as a starting point but gourmeting-it up with dry white wine, homemade chicken broth, fresh thyme and heavy cream.

That first pot of creamy mushroom soup gave me the confidence to use up the last of the beautiful fresh morel mushrooms we picked over the weekend in another batch.

basket of morel mushroomsbasket of morel mushrooms

Nothing is worse than having a failed recipe that wastes the elusive morel mushrooms we work so hard to find or spend so much to purchase.

Nailed it.

This Creamy Morel Mushroom Barley Soup is an easy and delicious way to get your mushroom fix in a healthy way. Can be made with either fresh or dried morel mushrooms.This Creamy Morel Mushroom Barley Soup is an easy and delicious way to get your mushroom fix in a healthy way. Can be made with either fresh or dried morel mushrooms.

There are some slight differences between the way that I make mushroom soup with white button mushrooms vs wild mushrooms, mostly notably needing less mushrooms for comparable flavor punch.

I’ve since made yet a 3rd batch, instead of with fresh morels but with a combination of dried wild mushrooms we had in our pantry. So much YUM.

3 batches of soup and 3 bowls of soup in my belly I’m joyously typing out the recipe to share with you, happy day to me!

This Creamy Morel Mushroom Barley Soup is an easy and delicious way to get your mushroom fix in a healthy way. Can be made with either fresh or dried morel mushrooms.This Creamy Morel Mushroom Barley Soup is an easy and delicious way to get your mushroom fix in a healthy way. Can be made with either fresh or dried morel mushrooms.

And I gotta brag, it’s really beautiful to look at too!!

Why add Barley to Mushroom Soup?

For many of you, Barley may be an unfamiliar ingredient. You may have heard of it in terms of brewing beer or if you are lucky, like me, have memories of it in your grandmother or great-grandmother’s pantry.

It’s one of the oldest cereal grains (aka Ancient Grain), it grows in varied climates and is an important staple in many traditional cuisines.

There are 2 types of barley you’ll find at your local supermarket; Pearl Barley and Barly Groats.

Unhulled Barley Groats are the whole grain while Pearl (hulled) barley has had the outer bran layer removed.

For this recipe we’re going to use Pearl (hulled) barley It’s inexpensive, readily available, and easy to cook, and it can be interchanged with rice in many dishes.

Is Barley Healthy?

I have a love/hate relationship with grains as you probably already know. I’ve lived my life for many years being completely gluten free and nearly as long shunning all grains.

Barley does contain GLUTEN, so if you are sensitive, intolerant or allergic to gluten, barley must be avoided.

Barley is a whole grain that is packed with nutrients. It doubles in size when it cooks, so keep that in mind when reading the nutrition facts. 

One-half cup (100 grams) of uncooked, Pearl (hulled) barley contains the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 354
  • Carbs: 73.5 grams
  • Fiber: 17.3 grams
  • Protein: 12.5 grams
  • Fat: 2.3 grams
  • Thiamine: 43% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Riboflavin: 17% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 23% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 16% of the RDI
  • Folate: 5% of the RDI
  • Iron: 20% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 33% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 26% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 13% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 18% of the RDI
  • Copper: 25% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 97% of the RDI
  • Selenium: 54% of the RDI

The main type of fiber in barley is beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that forms a gel when combined with fluid. Additionally, barley contains antioxidants such as vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

If you tolerate gluten, Barley is a delicious & nutritious real food that I encourage you to try!

What Does Barley Taste Like?

IMO the best way to describe barley is like a cross between brown and white rice only poofy. It has a very pleasant nutty flavor that is widely adaptable.

When it’s cooked in a soup like this, it creates a starch thickened light gravy texture similar to risotto where the grain/starch assumes to flavors you cook it with.

Now that I’ve gotten you familiar with my beloved barley, I’m sure you’re eagerly ready to make a pot of this creamy morel soup!

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This Creamy Morel Mushroom Barley Soup is an easy and delicious way to get your mushroom fix in a healthy way. Can be made with either fresh or dried morel mushrooms.This Creamy Morel Mushroom Barley Soup is an easy and delicious way to get your mushroom fix in a healthy way. Can be made with either fresh or dried morel mushrooms.

Creamy Morel Mushroom Barley Soup

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This Creamy Morel Mushroom Barley Soup is an easy and delicious way to get your mushroom fix in a healthy way. Can be made with either fresh or dried morel mushrooms.

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Prep Time: 5 minutesCook Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Organic Grass-Fed Butter or Ghee
  • 1+ cups morel mushrooms fresh or rehydrated from dried. Cleaned well.
  • 1/4 cup Onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic pressed or minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 wedge lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups Chicken Bone Broth or vegetable stock
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Instructions

  • In a medium pot over medium heat, saute morel mushrooms, onion and garlic in butter. Seson with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook until all the liquid is evaporated, roughly 3 mintues.
  • Add barley, saute lightly for about 1 mintue.
  • Deglaze with white wine, contiune cooking until the alcohol is evaprated, 2-3 mintues.
  • Add chicken broth and thyme.
  • Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover. Cook for 25 mintues.
  • Remove lid and increase heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 5-10 mintues or until barley is fully cooked and to thicken slightly.
  • Reduce heat to low. Add cream and cook for another 5 mintues.
  • Remove thyme before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 1025mg | Potassium: 407mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 437IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3mg

Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthStartsinthekitchen or tag #HealthStartsInTheKitchen!