Recipe: 3-Mushroom Barley Soup

This satisfying soup has just 1 gram of fat per serving
Pot of 3-mushroom barley soup on a cutting board surrounded by bread, berries, and a dish towel

Meaty mushrooms of various varieties and barley are a perfect pairing, especially in soup. This rich-tasting soup makes your belly feel full and boasts only 1 gram of fat in each serving. It’s a nice recipe to enjoy on a cold afternoon with your hands wrapped around a mug, or at the dinner table at night.

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½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 large yellow onion
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 rib celery, chopped to make ¼ cup
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 medium or large fresh shiitake mushrooms, washed with stems removed and sliced
3 quarts (12 cups) vegetable stock
2 cups hulled barley or pearled barley
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
Pepper to taste
Parsley or cilantro
1 bag (3-4 handfuls) spinach


  1. Soak dried porcini mushrooms in warm water for about 30 minutes, until soft. Drain, squeeze out liquid into a bowl (save to use later in the soup), roughly chop.
  2. Stir-fry onion in a soup pot until beginning to soften. Add carrots, celery and all the mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes until fresh mushrooms begin to soften.
  3. Add vegetable stock, barley, bay leaf and porcini soaking liquid. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, adding more liquid if necessary.
  4. Add vinegar and pepper to taste. Just before serving, fold in cilantro or parsley and spinach.

Nutritional information 

Per serving: 1 cup (8 ounces)

Calories 180
Total fat 1g
Saturated fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 200mg
Total fiber 9g
Protein 6g
Carbohydrates 36g

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Source: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn

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