Inspiring healthier eating one dish at a time

Polish Mushroom Soup with Barley

This creamy, mushroom soup transports me right back to my Polish grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve.

How totally glad are you that it’s soup season?  It’s the only thing I absolutely love about cold weather, and since I’ve moved to Arizona, I find that my soup season is way too short. Not that I’m complaining – I’ll take hot weather and cold food for 9 months, and warm weather and warm food for 2 months. That still leaves one whole chilly month for soup, and folks — it’s officially time to heat up the stockpot.

When I was young, my grandma always made Polish mushroom soup for Christmas Eve, and one of my biggest regrets is that I never asked her to write down her recipe. How I would love to open my cookbook to see her handwriting and make her soup… although, I’m sure my version would never taste quite the same, because hers was always made with real dried mushrooms that were mailed to her each year from Poland.


Polish Mushroom Soup with Barley|Craving Something Healthy


Well, I took a stab at recreating her recipe using dried Porcini and shitake mushrooms, as well as some fresh baby Bellas. Of course, I had to boost up the veggies with lot of carrots and celery, and to make it extra hearty, I added some barley (isn’t soup the most delicious way to get a mega-dose of veggies and grains?!). The thing that makes this Polish Mushroom Soup – and not just mushroom barley soup is the sour cream, and a little bit of fresh dill. Do. Not. Skip. This!


Polish Mushroom Soup with Barley|Craving Something Healthy


OK, so it’s not exactly the same as the one I had growing up, but it’s really good. And each slurp transports me right back to Christmas Eve at grandma’s house.

I’m honored to share this recipe as part of the Casual Veggie collaboration. The Casual Veggie is a fabulous e-cookbook collection of 166 vegetable recipes by some 48 equally fabulous food bloggers, and I’m thrilled to be included! Please check it out – it’s full of delicious inspiration to help keep you eating healthy through the holidays, and all year long.  AND – it makes a great holiday gift for anyone who loves (or wants to love) vegetables, in any way, shape or form.


The Casual Veggie Cookbook


I really hope you have some time to pull up a chair, grab a bowl and spoon, and savor the other wonderful warming soup and stew recipes below  brought to you by some of the bloggers whose recipes are featured in the cookbook. If you’d like more information on the Casual Veggie Cookbook and how to download it, hop on over to the website or click on the image above.  Happy slurping!

The Delicious Balance, Butternut Squash Soup 

Pumpkin and Peanutbutter, Cauliflower Leek Soup with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

A Southern Grace, Chili Out

Where is My Spoon?, Sunchoke Soup with Bacon 

Family For Health, Lime Coconut Fish Soup with Acorn Squash

Key Ingredients, Slow Cooker Bund Lentil Soup

Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen, Root Vegetable Stew


Polish Mushroom Soup with Barley

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: about 12 cups

Polish Mushroom Soup with Barley


  • 2 ounces dried mushrooms (Porcini, Shitake, Morels, etc)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 8 ounces baby Bella (Crimini) mushrooms, minced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 32 ounces mushroom broth
  • 32 ounces low salt chicken broth (or vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking barley
  • 2 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • salt and fresh ground pepper


Rehydrate the dried mushrooms for about 30 minutes, in 2 cups of hot water. When mushrooms are softened, mince them and place them in a stock pot.

Add the onion, fresh mushrooms, carrots and celery to the stockpot, along with the 4 tablespoons of olive oil, and saute the vegetables over medium-high heat for about 5 -7 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and stir to coat. Cook the vegetables for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the broths, and bring the soup to a boil.

Reduce the eat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add the barley, and simmer for another 10 minutes or until barley is softened. If you are using regular barley instead of quick cooking, it will take an extra 20 minutes or so.

When barley is softened, add the herbs and remove from the heat.

Place the sour cream in a measuring cup of bowl, and add 1 ladle of hot soup to the sour cream. Mix well to warm the sour cream, and add another ladle of soup.

Add the warmed sour cream to the pot of soup and stir well to combine.

Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.


Reheat any leftover soup gently, on medium heat so the sour cream doesn't curdle. Low fat sour cream may curdle when reheated.


What’s your favorite soup? Creamy or brothy?

Eat well!

12 Responses to “Polish Mushroom Soup with Barley”

  1. Crusty Curmudgeon 1 says:

    Your recipe calls for 8 cups of broth. I only see 6 cups listed. Should I increase the chicken broth or should I use additional water for the mushrooms.

    • Anne says:

      Hi! I use 2- 32 oz. cartons of broth – one chicken flavor and one mushroom flavor. If you can’t find the mushroom flavor, you can substitute another 2 cups of chicken, beef, or vegetable broth plus the water used to soak the mushrooms. Just make sure you drain it through a coffee filter, because often dried mushrooms are sandy or gritty. Sorry for the confusion!

  2. Allie says:

    Oh my this looks so yummy. I love mushrooms ans this winter soup looks like a recipe I need to try

  3. Oh, my proud Polish husband will love this soup! Can’t wait to try it.

  4. Adina says:

    I love the thought of 9 months hot and 2 months warm weather. I wish I had that as well. The soup looks delicious, I know I would love it.

  5. I love the backstory to this recipe – what a wonderful tradition you are continuing on with this soup ((and I’m sure your grandma would not mind that it’s not exactly the same.) Pinning this one as I love love mushroom soup!

    • Anne says:

      Thanks Deanna! I always miss those family traditions around the holidays. Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!!

  6. When I saw your recipe and photo I got up from my desk and looked in my pantry to see if I had dried porcini mushrooms and I have a 3-ounce bag. Guess what I am making soon? Thanks!

    • Anne says:

      Ha Ha! I always keep a bag in my pantry too Janice! I love the flavor and you never know when the mood (or a good recipe) will strike! Enjoy 🙂

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