The Rustic Charm of Hulled Barley Soup: Mushrooms and Celery Edition Yum

April 19, 2024 3 min read

In the world of wholesome comfort foods, hulled barley holds a modest, yet revered place. This ancient grain, known for its nutty flavor and delightful chewy texture, is not just nutritious but also incredibly versatile. Today, I share with you a heartwarming recipe that marries the rustic charm of hulled barley with the earthy tones of mushrooms and the fresh, crispiness of celery. This soup is perfect for chilly evenings, offering a hearty meal that comforts the soul and nourishes the body.


  • 1 cup hulled barley, rinsed

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 cup celery, diced

  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced (preferably a mix of wild and button mushrooms)

  • 1 large carrot, diced 

  • 6 cups vegetable broth or water

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Optional: Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Barley Prep: Begin by soaking the hulled barley in water for at least 4 hours, or overnight if time permits. This step is crucial as it significantly reduces cooking time and makes the grain easier to digest.

  2. Sauté the Aromatics: In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, sautéing until they are translucent and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.

  3. Vegetables in Action: Stir in the diced celery and carrot, cooking for another 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they release their moisture and start to brown slightly.

  4. Simmer the Barley: Drain the soaked barley and add it to the pot. Pour in the vegetable broth (or water) and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Allow the soup to simmer gently for about 45 minutes, or until the barley is tender.

  5. Seasoning: As the soup nears completion, stir in the fresh thyme, and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Let the soup cook for another 10 minutes to meld the flavors together.

  6. Final Touch: Check the seasoning once more before turning off the heat. Serve the soup hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Nutritional Snapshot:

Hulled barley is a nutritional powerhouse, packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus. It's particularly beneficial for heart health and digestion. Mushrooms, on the other hand, are rich in antioxidants and vitamins D and B. Celery adds a good crunch and is well known for its low-calorie content while being rich in fiber and water, making this soup a balanced meal in terms of nutrition and taste.

Closing Thoughts:

This Hulled Barley Soup with Mushrooms and Celery is more than just a meal; it's a wholesome experience that brings together simple ingredients to create a burst of flavor and texture. Whether you're looking for a comforting meal to end a long day or a nutritious dish to serve your family, this soup stands ready to satisfy hunger and delight the palate. Enjoy this rustic, nourishing soup with a slice of crusty bread for the ultimate comfort meal.

❤ Try our USDA certified Hulled Barley ❤

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Tesa Smith
Tesa Smith

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