Shitake Mushroom & Barley Soup


This soup is highly flavorful as the vegetables are sautéed first. It is savory tasting, comforting, and most importantly, easy to make. The barley absorbs about a cup of water and the soup thickens overnight. You can always add more water while you are cooking it, as well as when you reheat it, if you prefer a thinner broth.

Makes ~ 10 cups   1 ½ hours to make


  • 11 cups of water
  • ¾ cup barley, washed well
  • 3 TBS vegetable broth powder or 3 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • ½ -1 tsp. salt
  •  2 TBS of Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids or capful of tamari
  • ½ bunch of fresh parsley AND dill, washed well, roots trimmed off, stems on, uncut


  • 2TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 medium leeks, split lengthwise, diced. Discard outermost leaves and top 2-3 inches.
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced in ½ lengthwise and diced
  • 10 oz. (about 2 cups) fresh mushrooms sliced (I like to combine shitake and crimini)
  • 1-3 TBS fresh dill, finely chopped, or 1 tsp. dried (set aside 1 TBS fresh for garnish if desired)
  • ~3 TBS. Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids or 1 TBS tamari


  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium sized parsnip, chopped (optional)
  • S & P to taste



Place barley, vegetable powder/bouillon cubes, Braggs and salt in large soup pot with water. (If using vegetable powder, whisk it into the water so it is somewhat dissolved.) Place fresh parsley and dill on top, and immerse in the water.   Cover and simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Saute onion in olive oil until it begins to soften. Add leeks and celery, stirring often for 4-5 minutes. Add next 3 ingredients, cover and simmer until mushrooms are juicy.

Using a slotted spoon or spaghetti spoon, remove wilted parsley and dill from soup pot, squeezing all broth into a bowl and add back to soup pot. (Your broth will be imbued with the flavorful green essence of these herbs.) Add your sautéed vegetables to the pot, along with the raw chopped carrots and parsnips. Simmer, covered, until the carrots and parsnips have softened (about another 25-30 minutes). Add back the cup of water the barley absorbed if desired & adjust seasonings with salt & Bragg’s. Garnish with fresh dill before serving.


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