This one is for maintenance because of the barley. If you’re in the weight loss phase, file this away for later, and if you’re dancing the maintenance dance with me, enjoy this creamy, filling soup. This one is great for impressing guests, particularly non-vegan guests. (Don’t tell them and see if they notice!) I also found that this soup gets better over time. By the the third day of leftovers it was perfect.

I adapted this recipe from this one at Connoisseurus Veg by tweaking the ratios slightly to fit our food plan and adding more protein in the form of white beans. Enjoy!

Creamy Mushroom & Barley Soup (Vegan)

  • Servings: Makes 4 Servings
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Each Serving Contains:

  • 6 oz Veggies
  • 1 Protein Serving
  • 1 Fat Serving
  • 1 Grain Serving


Veggie Serving

  • 1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms, I used cremini and shiitake, cleaned and chopped (16 oz)
  • 1 small onion, diced (4 oz)
  • 2-3 medium carrots, diced (4 oz)
  • 2-3 celery ribs, diced (4 oz)

Protein Serving

  • 3 oz (1/2 cup) raw cashews, soaked in water 4 to 8 hours and drained (1.5 protein servings)
  • 15-oz white beans about 1.5 cans, drained (2.5 protein servings) 
    • (Or swap one of the proteins for 4 oz rehydrated soy curls, pictured)

Grain Serving

  • 4 oz dried pearl barley (hydrates to 16 oz, or 4 grain servings)

Fat Serving

  • 2 oz (4 TBSP) olive oil (4 fat servings)

Condiments & Spices

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine (optional, replace with veggie or miso broth)
  • teaspoons dried thyme
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons miso paste (optional but recommended, I used red miso but white miso was recommended in the original recipe)
  • salt and pepper to taste (add lots!!)
  • 1 TBSP Nutritional yeast (optional)


  1. Heat 2 TBSP of the oil in a large pot oil and place over medium heat. Add the mushrooms in as even a layer as possible. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes, flip and cook 5 minutes more, until most of the mushrooms are nicely browned.
  2. Add the rest of the oil (2 TBSP) plus the diced onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot and saut­­é until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add wine and thyme to the pot. Raise heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add 5 cups of broth and barley to the pot. Raise heat again and bring to a boil.
  5. Lower heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, until the barley is tender, about 45 minutes.
  6. Transfer 1 cup of the soup into a blender (veggies included). Add remaining 1 cup of broth, and drained soaked cashews. Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy, then return it to the pot.
  7. Add the soy sauce, miso, and cooked or canned beans.
  8. Stir until all ingredients are fully incorporated, making sure to fully dissolve the miso. The soup will be thick, thin it with some water if desired. Reheat for a minute or two, and season heavily with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Divide into 4 servings.

Note: If you forgot to soak your cashews, just place them in a saucepan with some water and boil for about 15 minutes.

Recipe Source: Katie’s Bright Kitchen