This is an easy soup to make, the dry sherry adds a lovely dimension to the mushrooms and barley. It’s a filling soup, but not heavy, with a lovely full rich flavor.

Barley and shiitake mushroom soup

Serving Size: 4


  • 1 cup barley
  • 2 handfuls dry Shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4-5 twigs fresh thyme chopped

Barley and shiitake mushroom soup


  1. Bring 5 cups water to the boil.
  2. Add dry mushrooms.
  3. Let them soak for an hour.
  4. While you let the mushrooms soak, slice the celery into small pieces.
  5. In a small pot, boil the remaining water.
  6. Add the peeled garlic cloves and chopped celery and boil until tender, around 15 minutes.
  7. Pour the garlic, celery, and boiling water into a blender.
  8. Blend until smooth.
  9. After the mushrooms are done soaking, remove from the water, squeezing out and reserving the excess liquid.
  10. Bring the water used for soaking to a boil and add barley.
  11. Dice the shiitake mushrooms.
  12. Add mushrooms, blended celery/garlic liquid, sherry, and soy sauce and thyme to the pot with the barley.
  13. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat.
  14. Simmer covered until the barley is tender, around an hour.
  15. You may need to add more liquid as the barley will continue to soak it up.
  16. Serve hot with freshly ground black pepper and thyme to taste.