Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


Wild Mushroom Barley Soup

November 19th, 2009 · 31 Comments

A wonderful way to enjoy wild mushrooms and soothing for the body, mind, and soul soup, the barley makes this a hearty meal also. The recipe can be halved if necessary, as this batch will yield over one and a half gallons of hearty soup, or 16 really hefty servings. (Note: Click on images for a larger view.)

Wild Mushrooms ImageAny dried mushrooms will do, but for this time around, I used a combination of porcini, morel, and chanterelle that gives a blend of deep earthly flavor to the soup. The mushrooms are first re-hydrated in warm water for 15 minutes or so, and then they are rinsed in several changes of cool water to remove any sand or grit from the tasty fungi. Once the excess water is gently squeezed out of the re-hydrated mushrooms, they are then soaked in brandy for at least an hour. The mushrooms absorb and take on a wonderful flavor of the brandy, and the brandy takes on a woody aroma too. The combination of the two is amazingly appealing, also wonderful for making a wild mushroom cream sauce, as in the Wild Mushrooms a la Crème appetizer recipe.

Wild Mushroom Packages ImageHarris Teeter grocery store sells several of Melissa’s brand of wild mushrooms, and that is where I found these, but there are several other sources for dried and fresh wild mushrooms. The wild mushroom water is strained and then incorporated to the soup for additional liquid, but more importantly for the taste, and brings this soup to the next level with a bold essence of wild mushroom woody earthly zest. No flavor is wasted in this recipe; every drop of mushroom flavor is extracted and integrated into the soup. Moreover, along with additional fresh cremini or button mushrooms, carrots, onions, and pearled barley rounding out this hearty soup, perfect for fall and winter days.

And for true vegans a good vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock would make this a complete vegetarian dish too.

2 Ounces Dried mushrooms, e.g. porcini, morel, chanterelle
2 Cups Warm filtered water
¼ Cup Brandy
14 Cups Chicken stock
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Cup Pearled barley
2 Large Onions, diced (approx 3 cups)
4 Ribs Celery, diced (approx 2 cups)
1 Lb. Carrots, diced ( approx 3 cups)
8 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 Each Bay leaves
2 Tbsp Oregano, fresh, chopped
1 Tbsp Basil, fresh chopped
2 Lb. Fresh cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
To taste Salt and white pepper
2 Tbsp Parsley, fresh chopped
Procedure Steps
1. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with the warm water. Let stand for 15 minutes or so to re-hydrate. When hydrated, squeeze out any excess water and place mushrooms in another bowl, rinse them under several changes of cool water to remove any grit. Toss the mushrooms with the brandy and allow to soak for 1 hour. Gently turn and mix the mushrooms and brandy several times to evenly soak. Once the dried mushrooms are hydrated, line a sieve with a coffee filter or paper towel. Strain the mushroom water into another bowl to separate any grit.
2. While the dried mushrooms are soaking, add the chicken stock to a large stockpot and then add the Worcestershire Sauce and bring to a boil covered. Then add the barley and continue to boil for 30 minutes over medium heat covered.
3. Add the strained mushroom water to the soup. Then add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, and basil, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat covered. Then add the sliced fresh mushrooms, stir well, and continue to simmer for 15 minutes covered.
4. Chop the wild mushrooms, add them to the soup with the brandy, and then simmer another 5 minutes.
5. Season to taste with salt and white pepper, then garnish with the chopped parsley.
Wild Mushroom Soup Image
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Tags: Soups · Vegetarian

31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 pegasuslegend // Nov 19, 2009 at 8:56 am

    loves mushrooms its cold out today, going to try with what I have thank you sounds wonderful cant wait to taste this!

  • 2 Cookin' Canuck // Nov 19, 2009 at 9:41 am

    I love the combination of mushrooms you used here. Brandy is such a wonderful flavor with mushrooms!

  • 3 Pepy @ Indonesia Eats // Nov 19, 2009 at 9:51 am

    I love everything with mushroom. Perfect for cold weather

  • 4 Trix // Nov 19, 2009 at 9:54 am

    this reminds me that i really don’t use barley that often, and i should – it’s delicious.

  • 5 Divina // Nov 19, 2009 at 9:54 am

    I love this soup. So earthy and comforting and flavorful.

  • 6 Jessie // Nov 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

    wonderful warming and comforting soup, I am such a fan of barley soups too

  • 7 Kristen // Nov 19, 2009 at 10:21 am

    In the winter months I love barley soups because they are so filling and comforting. The addition of the mushrooms must give it even more meaty flavor and satisfying bite.

  • 8 FatGirlEats // Nov 19, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Oh, wow! This looks amazing. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • 9 Kristi Rimkus // Nov 19, 2009 at 10:45 am

    I have to try this. What a nice soup. Perfect for the wonderful weather we’re having here in Seattle. 🙂

  • 10 abraham // Nov 19, 2009 at 11:31 am

    certainly chef, barley water i always drink, mushroom curry i have never thought of combining it… cool.. i will certainly try it…

  • 11 viviane bauquet farre / food & style // Nov 19, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Beautiful and flavorful soup… I love the touch of Brandy added to the mushrooms! That’s brilliant…

  • 12 averagebetty // Nov 19, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Perfect for a chilly night! YUM!

  • 13 Mathea // Nov 19, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I’m so glad this had morels! It’s a great combo and perfect soup for Fall!

  • 14 Cheah // Nov 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    A lovely combination, full of goodness.

  • 15 lululu // Nov 19, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    great combination of mushrooms, I love it!

  • 16 Vegetable Matter // Nov 19, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    This looks like such a rich soup. Now that it’s finally cold down here (sort of), it sounds perfect.

  • 17 Natasha - 5 Star Foodie // Nov 19, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    The wild mushroom soup sounds so flavorful, rich, and just wonderful especially on a rainy cold day!

  • 18 MaryMoh // Nov 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I love mushrooms. My mom used to put dried shitake mushrooms in most dishes. I love the beautiful flavour. With brandy added, I can imagine the beautiful flavour and taste. Thanks for sharing. I would love this soup.

  • 19 Brie // Nov 19, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    mmm, delicious and rustic. love it!

  • 20 Bamboobaileys // Nov 19, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Nice – I love both – mushrooms and barley and it is that soup time of the year.
    Time to make more chicken stock as well.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  • 21 Ryan Boudreaux // Nov 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Such a wonderful response from everyone, thank you all so much. This soup lasts for several days also, still eating leftovers today.

  • 22 Daniel@CocinaSavant // Nov 19, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Wow!! Mushroom and barley is one of our favorite winter soup combinations, and this sounds absolutely delicious. Thanks for reminding us of this tasty combination 🙂

  • 23 Dawn@CocinaSavant // Nov 19, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    that was from dawn, not daniel, oops 🙂

  • 24 Drick // Nov 19, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    wow, you are so right on – it is a perfect fall/winter soup…loving the making of the mushroom stock …

  • 25 penny aka jeroxie // Nov 19, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    I love those mushrooms but so exxy to get them here. So I stick to the browns and the buttons.

  • 26 John D. // Nov 20, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I can’t wait to make this. This is just what the doctor odered.

  • 27 Shirley // Nov 20, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Love the combination, mushroom, brandy, barley. Wow!

  • 28 Noelle // Nov 20, 2009 at 11:29 am

    WOW! I mean, I can feel it now. Such a delicious recipe. I am saving this.

  • 29 Bibiana Bailey // Nov 20, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I love Barley and wild mushrooms. Great combination. This sound like the perfect cold winter soup. Can’t wait to try it. Need to go shopping.

  • 30 goodieswassa // Nov 21, 2009 at 3:40 am

    in Thai local recipe, we believe that eat three kinds of mushrooms all in one dish make good health …. good to try 🙂

  • 31 Conor @ HoldtheBeef // Nov 21, 2009 at 9:25 am

    What a great idea to soak them in brandy too! And thanks for the rinsing tips, I am going to use some dried mushrooms tomorrow and have not rehydrated any before, so this is both timely and useful! 🙂