Mushroom-Barley Soup

Total Time
1 hr 21 min
16 min
1 hr 5 min
This old-fashioned, hearty soup is a worthy homage—a perfect choice on a blustery winter day.


olive oil

2 Tbsp

uncooked onion(s)

2 medium, chopped

uncooked carrot(s)

3 medium, chopped

uncooked celery

3 rib(s), medium, chopped

white wine

½ cup(s)

canned beef broth

9 cup(s), low sodium

uncooked pearl barley

cup(s), pearl variety

mushroom caps

20 oz, packaged

fresh parsley

½ cup(s), flat-leaf, fresh, minced

black pepper

tsp, freshly ground, or to taste

fresh parsley

3 Tbsp, flat-leaf, fresh, minced (optional)

beef broth cube(s)

1 cube(s)


  1. Heat a large nonstick saucepan or Dutch oven. Swirl in the oil, then add the onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the wine; simmer until the liquid is reduced by one-fourth. Add the broth; bring to a steady simmer. Stir in the barley; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, about 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, clean and trim the mushrooms; separate the stems from the caps. Chop the stems and one-third of the caps; slice the remaining caps.
  3. Transfer 1 1⁄2 cups of the vegetables and barley and 1⁄2 cup of the liquid to a food processor; puree. Return the mixture to the saucepan.
  4. Add the mushrooms, parsley, and pepper; stir and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer, covered, until the mushrooms are cooked, 15 minutes. Garnish with the additional parsley, if using. Yields 1 1/2 cups per serving.


“Mushrooms, an unlimited vegetable, are a mainstay of the W.W. Program,” notes the ample mushroom recipe section in the first Weight Watchers Cookbook. The soup freezes well, so you might as well make up a double batch while you’re at it. Serve it with some crusty bread and a crunchy green salad.The small amount of wine in this soup adds a great deal of flavor. However, if you’d like to leave it out, substitute 1/2 cup water and a tablespoon of white-wine vinegar instead.

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