Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale

If you are anticipating a holiday food hangover this season, then take note of this recipe. Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale is the perfect antidote to excess. Not only does it put to use any left over turkey stock you may have, this healthy, economical soup is loaded with vegetables and high fiber barley. Handfuls of nutrient-rich kale are added to the soup in the end, so there is just enough time to wilt the leaves without overcooking. The extra ingredient to this wholesome soup is a spoonful of red miso paste, which adds depth and that elusive umami quality which keeps you coming back for more. Luckily, this is one meal you can indulge in seconds without feeling guilty.

Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale

Chicken stock may easily be substituted for turkey stock. Serves 4-6.

Olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces sliced assorted mushrooms, such shitake, cremini, cepes
2 large carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup barley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
8 cups chicken or turkey stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups kale leaves, tough stems removed, leaves shredded
1 tablespoon red miso paste

Heat oil in a medium sized stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; sauté 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and carrots; sauté 3 minutes. Add barley and thyme and stir to coat. Add stock, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in kale. Simmer until kale turns bright green and wilts, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in miso. Taste to check for seasoning. Serve garnished with fresh thyme.

14 thoughts on “Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale

  1. I just wrote down “make soup” in my date book – now I have a healthy recipe that looks truly wonderful – and pushes me to try kale again. Wonder where to find red miso paste – Whole Foods? Thanks!

    1. Whole Foods carries red miso paste, or any asian grocery/specialty store. Hope you try it – the kale is so good in this soup.

  2. Lynda, this looks and sounds fantastic! I had already planned to make a more traditional mushroom barley soup for dinner this week, but I’m switching it up to make this instead – thanks for the inspiration! (Liz, I get my red miso paste at Whole Foods – check the refrigerated section near the tofu, saurkraut, and other fermented foods).

  3. I love mushroom barley soup. It tastes so good and is so good for you. Great idea to add a touch of miso to it. I think I’d really enjoy your version.

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