Polish Mushroom Soup with Barley

This creamy, Polish mushroom soup transports me right back to my 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.

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 lots 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.


Polish Mushroom Soup with Barley|Craving Something Healthy

Polish Mushroom Soup with Barley

a rich, hearty holiday traditional soup
4.65 from 14 votes
Print Pin
Course: dinner
Cuisine: polish
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 241kcal


  • 2 ounces dried mushrooms Porcini, Shitake, Morels, etc
  • 1 medium onion minced
  • 8 ounces baby Bella Crimini mushrooms, minced
  • 4 large carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 large celery stalks diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 16 ounces mushroom broth reserved from soaking the dried mushrooms, or from a carton
  • 32 ounces low salt chicken broth or vegetable
  • ½ 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. Drain them reserving the soaking liquid. 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.


Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 315mg | Potassium: 550mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 6406IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @CravingSomethingHealthy!

What’s your favorite soup? Creamy or brothy?

Eat well!


  1. This look so good! I love mushrooms but get stuck with what to do with them! This is a great option and the barley makes it more robust.

  2. I am hosting 10 guests for the tradional
    Polish Christmas Eve dinner. How many servings will this recipe make?
    It looks deliciou

    Thank you so much for a reply

    1. Hi Ginny,
      This recipe makes about 10 cups, so if you're serving it as a small side (we used to eat it as a first course), I would say about 8-10 small servings. It is a thick soup, so you could also add a bit more chicken stock to thin it out and extend it more. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

      1. Thanks so much..the soup will be followed by herring, fried white fish, pierogi with caramelized onions and sour cream, a fresh arugula salad , a fruit salad.
        dessert is kolachki cookies and angel wings

        Wish me luck n getting everything on the table hot!

        Thanks again Happy Holidays

      2. That sounds perfect! Takes me right back to my grandma's dining room table! Best of luck and Happy Holidays 🙂

  3. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

  4. 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!

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    1. 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.