Four Mushroom Barley Soup

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Recipe for Four Mushroom Barley Soup. Warm and comforting, this soup is just the thing for a cold winter’s day - and it's low cholesterol too.


  • 9 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces baby bella or cremini mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned, and diced
  • 12 ounces white button mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned, and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup whole-grain barley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • shredded soy or regular part-skim mozzarella cheese, optional


  1. Heat 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Add porcini and shiitake mushrooms to broth and soak, covered, until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms from broth and chop into small pieces; set aside. Strain soaking liquid and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and shallots and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the baby bella and button mushrooms and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Add carrots and garlic, stir, and cook an additional minute. Add remaining chicken broth, porcini and shiitake soaking liquid, porcini and shiitake mushrooms, barley, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil, stir, and cover; reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese before serving, if desired.