A deliciously hearty winter soup that will warm the cockles of your heart. Barley is simmered with mushrooms in a seasoned beef stock. Serve with fresh crusty bread, if desired. This soup can be made vegan-friendly by substituting in vegetable stock instead of beef stock.
Soup is great! I've made it a few times, but have tweaked it. Don't need to cook barley in a separate pot. Up the amount of Beef stock (can use vegetable stock for vegetarians) to 6 cups. You will always need to add more. Saute as stated, adding mushrooms, then barley. Simmer for about 45 min - 1 hr. Saves a pot to clean & time is the same. Also vary the types of mushrooms - I've used Shitake, Cremini & Baby Bellas combined. Comes out even more heavenly! - 13 Jan 2009 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
This soup is a good base recipe but I really feel it's overrated. As some other reviewers have noted the result has a hearty consistency but is bland. To make it special but keep it healthy I added 2/3 cup of sherry (red wine would also do nicely), two minced cloves of garlic to the onion sautee, and then minced a sprig of fresh rosemary (fresh tarragon or chopped fresh Italian parsley might also be nice). If you want a richer flavor consider using butter instead of olive oil to sautee the onions and garlic. This revised recipe would rate 4-5 stars but I can only give the original recipe 3 stars because it's just not exceptional without significant tinkering. - 18 Mar 2010 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)
This soup was absolutely delicious. I made it vegetarian by using a vegetable broth ("World's Greatest Vegetable Broth" by Tom West) instead of the beef broth. Wonderful! - 06 May 2008 (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)