Hungarian Mushroom Barley Soup

I have so many cookbooks weighing down my bookshelf that in recent years, I have decided to save a few trees and take a hiatus from buying any new ones.  Overall, there have not been too many negative repercussions from this decision – I have continued to come up with some pretty good things to cook, and certainly nobody has starved.

Recently, however, my sister broke my book-buying fast by giving me a new cookbook called Whitewater Cooks: Pure, Simple and Real Creations from the Fresh Tracks Cafe.  And I am so glad she did.  The book is full of really tasty, slightly (but not outrageously) out of the ordinary stuff that regular-skilled cooks with real lives (i.e., lives that don’t allow them to spend all day in the kitchen) can produce.  The Hungarian Mushroom Barley soup recipe below is a good example – very creamy, rich flavours and…barley!  Mushroom soup is one of my husband’s favourites, so I made it initially with him in mind – but quickly fell in love with it myself.

Note that the Whitewater Cooks author, Shelley Adams, has not only graciously agreed to let me share this recipe with you – she will also be sharing the story of how her cookbooks and her culinary career came into being in an upcoming post.  Stay tuned (but try the soup in the meantime)!


  • 2-3 onions, diced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup barley
  • ½ cup sherry
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp dill
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 12 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ½ cup parsley
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup whipping cream


Heat oil and butter in a large soup pot.  Add the onions and sauté until translucent.  Add mushrooms and sauté another 10-15 minutes.  Add the barley and spices and continue to sauté for 10 more minutes.  Add the stock and let cook over medium heat approximately 30 minutes or until the barley is done.  Add soy sauce, sherry, cream and parsley.

An added splash of sherry at the end is a must.  For a thicker soup, add 2 tbsp flour mixed with 2 tbsp butter and cook a little longer until it thickens up.

2 Responses to Hungarian Mushroom Barley Soup

  1. This soup is amazing! Had it last night for dinner and even made it for my husbands 30th birthday it’s so good :)

  2. Pingback: Feeding Your Passions |

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