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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mushroom Barley Soup

Today is National Mushroom Day (and you know how much I love mushrooms), so before I share one of my favorite soups with you, I thought I'd explain some of the most common varieties in your local grocery store:

Agaricus, which is also known as the white button mushroom, is one of the most common mushrooms seen in your local grocery store and is readily available year round. It’s very versatile when cooking and can be eaten raw and cooked.

Chanterelle is a vase shaped mushroom with a nutty, delicate flavor. Fresh Chanerelle’s are fairly expensive so you see them frequently in dried form. They’re commonly used in sauces and risottos and when cooking, you should add them later in the process to avoid becoming too tough.

Crimini mushrooms have a rich, earthy flavor and are used to add a more robust flavor to your dishes.

Shiitake mushrooms look like little umbrellas and are also know as Chinese black mushrooms. These mushrooms are great when used in dishes that are sautéed, broiled or baked; however, it is recommended that the stems be removed prior to cooking.

Oyster mushrooms resemble a fan and have a delicate flavor. The caps are thin and cook quickly, so add them towards the end of your cooking process. These are most commonly used in stir fry dishes.

Enoki mushrooms have long stems and tiny white caps, and can be used in sandwiches, salads and garnishes. When cooking, add them towards the end of your cooking process so that they don’t get too tough. 

Portabello These are the most commonly purchased mushrooms available commercially and are the mature version of the Crimini mushroom. They have a meaty texture and can be used whole, sliced, grilled, or baked. but remember to trim the stem before using.

Porcini mushrooms look like a toadstool and have a strong flavor. They are generally more expensive and can also be found dried.

Morel mushrooms are a relative to the truffle and are spongy with a smoky earthy flavor. The darker the mushroom, the more pungent the flavor. 

And now back to my soup...

I tend to use the white button mushrooms more frequently in my recipes than most of the other varieties, with exception to the Portobello mushroom, as I don't particularly like the strong, earthy flavors from some of the other kinds. The white mushrooms used in this soup softened nicely and combined with the barley and vegetables, gave this hearty vegetarian soup a wonderful, aromatic flavor. 

Mushroom Barley Soup
10oz. Package White Mushrooms, rinsed and sliced
2 tbsp. Red Onion, finely chopped
1 Stalk Celery, rinsed and fine dice
1/2 c. Carrots, finely sliced
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
4 c. Vegetable Broth
1/4 c. Barley, rinsed
1 tbsp. Italian Parsley, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste


1. Heat oil in a large pot and add in the mushrooms, onion, celery and carrots. Sweat until the vegetables start to soften; approximately 5-8 minutes. 
2. Stir in the flour, then add the vegetable broth and barley; mix well. 
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1-1 1/4 hours or until the barley has fully expanded. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 cups. 

*Nutritional Information per Cup: Calories 108, Carbs 15.5g, Fat 4g, Protein 3.8g, Fiber 3.2g

*Calculations based on ingredients entered into CalorieCount and may not be 100% accurate.


Shared at Amee's Savory Dish 9/21/12

Shared at The Country Cook 9/21/12
Shared at Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen 10/15/12
Shared at Basilmomma  10/15/12


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this on Manic Monday. I wish I had a bowl right now!!!

  2. Nice post. Lots of good information here and the recipe looks tasty too. Thanks.

  3. Hi Carrie :) just wanted to let you know that your soup is featured on this weeks Manic Monday


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