Mushroom-Barley Soup

This is a vegetarian soup. If you want the soup to complement a meat entrée, you can substitute chicken or beef broth for the water.


2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

1 large sweet onion, peeled, halved, and sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 portobello mushroom cap, diced

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 bay leaf

½ cup pearl barley

6 cups water

Optional: 2 tablespoons vermouth or brandy

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Melt the butter and bring the oil to temperature in the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the celery and carrot; sauté for 2 minutes. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes or until the onion is soft and transparent. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms; sauté for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms release their moisture and the onion begins to turn golden.

  • Stir in the bay leaf, barley, water, and vermouth or brandy (if using). Lock the lid into place and bring to high pressure; maintain pressure for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow pressure to release naturally.

  • Remove the lid. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve.

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