Barley and mushroom soup may not sound like the greatest meal, but don’t rule it out until you try it. This soup is full of nutrients and will make you feel full and happy.
Barley and Mushroom Soup Is a Heart-Warming Dish
A nutritious cup of soup is the best gift for the soul!
While this dish calls for cremini or white button mushrooms, the truth is that any kind of mushroom can work in this soup. You should consume more mushrooms, as they are very healthy and they have great medicinal properties.
Other vegetables to use instead are potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, or green beans.
As the name suggests, the next key ingredient in this soup is barley. In this case, you can use black barley, as it mixes well with the mushrooms. Other grains will do as well, including buckwheat, quinoa, bulgur wheat, or rice.
If you do have barley, use it, as this grain is extremely healthy. For one, it is high in soluble fiber, it is rich in antioxidants, and it can help lower cholesterol.
The kimchi in this dish is a great addition of heat and tartness. It also helps that kimchi is a probiotic food, aiding in digestion and reducing inflammation. Not everyone has kimchi available, though, but you can use cabbage, carrots, red pepper flakes, ginger, garlic, and vinegar instead.
Finally, the eggs add a nice touch of flavor, texture, and protein. You should eat eggs every so often, as they are high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, B vitamins, zinc, iron, and copper. You can replace them with vegan options, including tofu or jackfruit.
To speed things up, you can place barley in a medium bowl and soak overnight. However, you can also use a pressure cooker or rice cooker for less cooking time.
This barley and mushroom soup will take a bit of attention to make, but the end product is truly delicious.
Discover another hearty mushroom soup here: Mushroom Miso Soup [Recipe]
Barley and Mushroom Soup
1 cup (128 g) black barley
12 cremini or white button mushrooms, stems and caps separated
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp kosher salt, plus more
4 large eggs
1 small red or watermelon radish, trimmed thinly sliced
1/4 cup (32 g) kimchi, thinly sliced
small cilantro sprigs, and olive oil (for serving)
- To start, get a medium bowl and combine barley and 3 cups (720 ml) of cold water. Cover and chill for 12 hrs.
- Drain the barley completely and reserve the liquid.
- Combine barley, mushroom stems, bay leaves, and 5 cups (1.2 L) of water in a large saucepan. Bring it to a boil.
- Season the mixture with 1 tbsp of salt. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 80 to 90 min. Stir occasionally until barley is tender and liquid is almost dried up.
- Drain the mixture and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Allow to cool. Pick off the mushroom stems and bay leaves and discard.
- While the barley is cooking, boil a medium saucepan of water. Gently put the eggs and cook for 6 min.
- Transfer the eggs immediately to a bowl of ice water and let them cool. Peel and set aside.
- Slice the mushroom caps thinly, and place half on the reserved barley soaking liquid in a medium saucepan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmer for 10 to 12 min until the mushrooms absorb the soaking liquid flavor.
- Season with some salt. Use a fine-mesh sieve to strain into a medium bowl.
- Scoop barley into serving bowls. Top with radish and remaining sliced mushrooms.
- Cut the cooked eggs in half lengthwise. Place the egg into barley, yolk sides up. Huddle kimchi next to the egg, and pour mushroom broth over.
- Top each bowl with cilantro and drizzle with oil.
- Do Ahead: Barley can be soaked one day ahead. Just keep chilled.