Whether you like mushroom barley soup or this easy mushroom barley stew, this recipe will satisfy those cozy, comfort cravings.
This easy mushroom barley stew is a bit thicker and heartier than mushroom barley soup, but you can add more stock if you’re looking for more broth. We loved the heartiness of this barley stew though!
In this mushroom barley stew recipe, we finished the dish with crispy oyster mushrooms. You can crisp up any mushroom variety as the topping – try it out with crispy trumpet mushrooms, crispy maitake mushrooms, or even crispy shiitake mushrooms.
This recipe is so easy to make and it’s really a great and healthy comfort food recipe.
How to Make this Recipe:
This barley stew is so easy to make! You just want to make sure to sauté you’re ingredients in batches to ensure that they cook up evenly.
The first question is: what kind of mushrooms should I use? The answer is simple: ALL OF THEM. I love using a variety of mushrooms in cooking, so try this recipe out with a mixture of button, shiitake, cremini, oyster, diced trumpet mushrooms, or maitake mushrooms. If you have some really fancy foraged mushrooms, reserve those for the crispy topping. The variety of mushrooms will help lend a more complex flavor to this stew.
Once you’ve sautéed the mushrooms, remove them from the pan and add the mirepoix and let that cook until it begins to soften. Add garlic at the very end and then return to the mushrooms to the pot. After that, add the barley and season with spices. I used a mix of dry thyme, chives, and parsley. I also added a few healthy shakes of crushed red pepper and 4 diced Roma tomatoes.
Add a good quality mushroom or vegetable stock to the pot. Start with 6 cups and add more as the liquid cooks down. I used 8 cups total. From there, it’s just a matter of letting the stew simmer for about 30 minutes until the barley is tender.
Right before serving, quickly fry up the mushrooms reserved for garnish in very hot oil. Immediately toss them with freshly minced parsley and salt and pile them on top. That’s it!
Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Check my archives!
If you made this recipe, please rate the recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it! If you take a picture of it, please tag me on Instagram so I can feature you in my feed!
Easy Mushroom Barley Stew
- Large pot
- Small skillet
Mushroom Barley Stew
- 2 teaspoons neutral oil for frying
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms sliced, diced, or torn depending on the variety
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 4 ribs celery diced
- 6 young carrots diced (see note)
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 4 Roma tomatoes diced (or use 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes)
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 2 tablespoons flour optional
- 6 cups mushroom or vegetable stock plus more, as needed
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon dry chives plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon dry parsley plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper plus more, to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
Crispy Mushroom Topping:
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces mushrooms torn or sliced, depending on variety
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
- Flaky sea salt
Cook the Mushrooms:
- Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 8-12 minutes, stirring often, until well-browned and softened. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
Cook the Mirepoix:
- If the pot is too dry, add another drizzle of oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 5-7 minutes until just beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds.
- Add the diced Roma tomatoes and the barley and cook for 1 minute, stirring regularly. Return the mushrooms to the pot and stir.
Add the Stock:
- Sprinkle the flour over the dish and stir to combine. Cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes until the flour deepens in color. Be careful not to burn the flour.
- Pour in 1 cup of stock and whisk to combine. Continue adding the stock, one cup at a time, whisking after each addition until all the stock is added. Season with chives, thyme, and parsley. Add the crushed red pepper and season again with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the barley is tender. Stir regularly and add up to 2 cups more stock if necessary. Taste and season again to preference.
Fry the Mushrooms:
- Once the stew is ready to serve, crisp up the mushroom topping.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Once very hot, add the mushrooms and cook without moving for 2-3 minutes until very well browned. Flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes until well-browned on the other side. Turn off the heat.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl with freshly minced parsley and sprinkle immediately with flaky sea salt. Toss to coat with parsley.
- Divide the mushroom barley stew between bowls and pile the crispy mushrooms on top. Garnish with any remaining parsley. Enjoy!