Caramelized Onion, Mushroom & Barley Soup
Recipe type: Soup, Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: Winter, Vegetarian, Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
This stick-to-your-ribs soup is perfect for a cold winter day.
  • 4 Tbsp. Olive Oil, divided
  • 3 large Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ c. Dried Porcini Mushrooms
  • 8 oz. Cremini Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
  • 3 bushy sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 6 c. Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • 1 c. Pearl Barley
  • 2 stalks Celery, sliced
  • Parmesan Cheese, optional
  1. Heat about 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and let them slowly cook down over medium-low heat until they are golden and almost sticky, about an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place the dried porcini in a small bowl and pour ½ c. of boiling water over them. Allow to soak for half of an hour, then remove and roughly chop, reserving the soaking liquid.
  3. After the onions have caramelized, move them to one side of the pan. Increase the heat to medium-high and add a Tbsp. of olive oil to the empty side of the pan. Add the cremini mushrooms to the empty space and sauté briefly until they take on a little color, about 2 minutes. Toss the onions a couple of times so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Season the mushroom and onions, then drop in the tomato paste, porcini mushrooms, and thyme and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add the stock, porcini soaking water, barley, and celery and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the barley is tender, 25-30 minutes. Taste. Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and salt, as needed. Remove the thyme branches. Divide between soup bowls and garnish with grated parmesan or parmesan curls, if desired. The soup keeps well for several days though the barley will continue to soak up the broth and become more porridge-like as time goes by.
Recipe by strawberryplum at