Now that the temps have officially dropped and it is really beginning to feel like Winter, I have broken out the crockpot.  I’m not sure there is a better appliance to own.  It especially comes in handy on those loooong days when you just want to come home and relax, not slave over the stove and make a meal that none of the kids will eat anyway. This Wild Mushroom Soup with Barley is a family favorite.

Over the next couple weeks/months I plan to share some go-to meals that have brought a boatload of happiness to our family, including the tiny bellies.  A lot of these meals have been obtained from library cookbooks and morphed into my own flavorful version.  This particular recipe was based on Robin Robertson‘s Wild Mushroom Soup with Barley recipe and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!



Wild Mushroom Soup with Barley

Serves 4-6

Cook Time: 6 hours on low (I use a 6 qt crockpot)

Ingredients you will need:

  • 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 giant handful of spinach
  • 1/2 c. pearl barley (its important its pearl so that it has a more nutty consistency after 6 hours of cooking)
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, cubed*
  • 1 14 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes**
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast (optional–this just adds a bit of creaminess too)
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

*The original recipe called for 8 oz cremini mushrooms and 4 oz shiitake, but we found portobellos easier to find regularly, and we really like them too.

**Use a hand blender to puree the can before putting it in if you would like a less chunky soup.  The fire-roasted tomatoes give a smokiness to the soup that is divine.

  1. Place your dried porcinis in a bowl and cover with hot water.  Set aside to soften as you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet.  Once hot, add the onions and carrots.  Cook your veggies for 5 min, stirring occasionally.  Once soft, add the carrot and onion mixture to the base of the crockpot.
  3. Drain the porcinis, reserving 1/2 c. of the soaking liquid.  Slice up the mushrooms and put them into the crockpot.
  4. Add in the garlic, spinach, barley, broth, portobellos, tomatoes, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, thyme, reserved soaking liquid, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir, cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

RELATED READING :: Best Crockpot + Instant Pot Recipes For Winter

This is a great recipe to have on hand for those upcoming snowy nights.  Better yet? Double the recipe and you can freeze the leftovers for up to 4 months!  Snuggle up, and enjoy!

Loren McEllin
Lo is the Founder + Chief Innovation Officer of Trotting with Tots, a local stroller-toting mama tribe. When not scoping out new trails and neighborhoods to explore with the running group, she spends her time cooking up random vegan concoctions, inflicting pain on friends with her waxing skills, putzing around on her Cricut machine, inventing some new house project for her husband, and/or drinking wine while watching the latest episode of Intervention. Lo is married to her very own Magic Mike, whom she met on an airplane, and is lackey Mom to two munchkins (Gage + Gemma), and an allergy-ridden pup (Killian). She loves the color yellow, the sound of high heels on asphalt and gargantuan wind chimes.


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