Tested till perfect Meal-in-a-Bowl Mushroom Barley Soup
Meal-in-a-Bowl Mushroom Barley Soup
Photography by Matthew Kimura

Meal-in-a-Bowl Mushroom Barley Soup

Cremini mushrooms give this soup a deep rich colour and flavour. All that's missing is some freshly baked bread and you have a cosy family meal for a cold winter night. The vegetarian variation is also delicious.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: January 2004

Recipe4 out of 5 based on 16 ratings.
  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Portion size 8


  • 1 lb 1lbstewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspsalt
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tsppepper
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspdried thyme
  • 2 tbsp 2tbspvegetable oil
  • 1 cup 1cupdiced oniononions
  • 1 cup 1cupdiced celery
  • 1 cup 1cupdiced carrotcarrots
  • 6 cups 6cupssliced cremini mushrooms, 1 lb/500 g
  • 6 cups 6cupschicken stock
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cuppot barley or pearl barley
  • 1 tbsp 1tbsptomato paste
  • 1 1bay leafbay leaves
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Season beef with salt, pepper and thyme. In large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium-high heat; brown beef, in 2 batches, about 5 minutes. Remove to plate. Drain off any fat in pan.

Add remaining oil to pan; cook onions, celery and carrots over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until mushroom liquid begins to evaporate, about 5 minutes.

Stir in stock and 2 cups (500 mL) water, scraping up any brown bits in pan. Add barley, tomato paste and bay leaf. Return beef and any accumulated juices to pan; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until beef and barley are tender, about 1 hour. Discard bay leaf.

Additional information : Slow-Cooker Meal-in-a-Bowl Mushroom Barley Soup: Follow first three paragraphs. Transfer reserved beef and accumulated juices, vegetables, stock and water to 16-cup (4 L) slow-cooker. Add barley, tomato paste and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Discard bay leaf.

Vegetarian Meal-in-a-Bowl Mushroom Barley Soup: Omit beef. Cook onions, celery, carrots and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt, pepper and dried thyme in 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil. Add 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) beans (such as red or white kidney beans, black-eyed peas or black beans), drained and rinsed, along with barley. Cook until barley is tender, about 40 minutes.

Nutritional Information Per serving: about

cal 224 pro 19g total fat 9g sat. fat 2g
carb 17g fibre 3g chol 28mg sodium 789mg

% RDI:

calcium 4 iron 19 vit A 35 vit C 5
folate 12
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