Cook the Book: Mushroom Barley Soup

Cook the Book: Mushroom Barley Soup

The first of this week's recipes from Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking is for Mushroom Barley Soup. I couldn't resist highlighting this one, because a good mushroom barley soup is one of my favorites. I've never made my own, prefering to get a decent one at a handful of delis here in New York, but Arthur Schwartz doesn't make this seem so difficult. The most time-consuming part might be making the chicken soup that serves as a base, but even that's not too crazy—and you can sub in four quarts vegetable broth for the chicken soup and water listed below.

  • Yield:10 to 12


    • 3 tablespoons peanut, corn, or canola oil
    • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
    • 1 large carrot, peeled
    • 2 outer ribs celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
    • 1 1/4 cups barley (1/2 pound)
    • 1 1/2 cup dried baby lima beans
    • 1 1/2 cup split peas (green, yellow, or mixed)
    • 1 ounce dried mushrooms, coarsely crumbled
    • 12 cups (or more) chicken soup
    • 4 cups (or more) water 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1.

  2. 2.

  3. In a 5-quart or larger pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat; sauté the onions until tender and beginning to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 3.

  • Grate the carrot into the pot, using the coarse side of a box grater and holding the carrot perpendicular to the grater so the pieces are short. Add the celery. Sauté vegetables 3 to 4 minutes more.
  • 4.

  • Add the barley, lima beans, split peas, dried mushrooms, broth, and water.
  • 5.

  • Bring to a boil, then partially cover the pot; reduce heat to low so the soup simmers gently. Cook at a slow, steady simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, until the lima beans and barley are tender and the split peas have dissolved. After about 45 minutes, add the salt and pepper.