Mushroom Beef Barley Soup

Margaret Banks, violin

Mushroom Beef Barley Soup

From the kitchen of Margaret Banks, violin

“For me, soup brings back the smell and feel of my grandmother’s kitchen. Who cannot be comforted by soup? Savor this recipe with a loaf of homemade bread, piping hot from the oven, and your favorite dark beer or ale. Enjoy!” – Peg


  • 4 cups sliced mushrooms (I use a mixture of cremini, button and porcini mushrooms)
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 parsnip, finely chopped
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces beef stew meat cut in bite-size pieces
  • 6 cups of stock (I use beef and/or mushroom stock; for an easy stock, try “Better than Base.”)
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • ¼ t. kosher salt
  • ¼ t. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup barley (hulled or pearl, whichever you prefer)
  • 2 T. of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

In a Dutch oven, heat the 2 T. olive oil and sauté the mushrooms and onions over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl. In the same pan, add 1 T. of olive oil and sauté the carrot, parsnip, celery and garlic over medium-high until lightly browned, about 3- 4 minutes. Add carrot mixture to the onion mixture. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 T. of olive oil and brown the beef. Add 1 cup of stock, scraping the sides of the pan. Add the onion and vegetable mixture to the remaining stock, 2 cups of water, the thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer until the beef is tender, about 1 hour. Discard the thyme springs and add the barley, cooking an additional 30 minutes. Garnish with parsley.

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