Barley Mushroom Soup with Meatballs

American, Autumn, Cooking Methods, Course, Cuisine, Dinner, Lunch, Main Dish, Meals, Recipes, Season, Soup, Stovetop, Type of Dish, Winter
  • By Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN on
  • March 5th, 2013

Barley Mushroom Soup with Meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This soup is so good to make on a cold day. It’s very hearty and rich (but low calorie). I made it with a pound of mushrooms bought from my local farmer’s market including shitake, pink oyster, and king trumpet mushrooms. Serve with a side salad and/or some crusty bread for a complete meal.
Recipe type: Soup, Main Entree
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef stock
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup pearled barley
  • 1 large thyme sprig OR 1 Tbsp thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Oil Spray
  • 1 lb mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large shallot chopped
  • ½ lb 96% fat free ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ slice whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 Tbsp Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  1. Combine beef stock, water, thyme, and barley in a large pot, bringing to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the mixture has reached a boil, keep covered and turn down to low heat to allow barley time to cook, approximately 20 minutes.
  2. While that is simmering, put a large frying pan over medium heat and spray with olive oil spray.
  3. Add mushrooms and shallot to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes. Stir enough so you don’t burn the mushrooms or they don’t stick to the pan.
  4. Meanwhile, toast the whole wheat bread in a toaster.
  5. Put in a food processor to chop up and make bread crumbs.
  6. Combine beef, egg, bread crumbs, and cheese in a bowl, along with ¼ tsp salt & pepper each mixing with hands until evenly mixed.
  7. Roll the beef mixture into sixteen 1-inch mini meatballs.
  8. Add meatballs and mushroom-shallot mixture into the soup. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
  9. Once meatballs are cooked, remove thyme from the soup (if using a sprig) and add the parsley before serving.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 cups Calories: 268.5 Fat: 7.5 Saturated fat: 2.8 Carbohydrates: 28 Sugar: 2.6 Sodium: 352.4 Fiber: 6.2 Protein: 24.8 Cholesterol: 90.3


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2 responses to “Barley Mushroom Soup with Meatballs”

  1. Janelle says:

    Hi Sarah! This looks delicious! I was wondering if there was something I could substitute the barley for, maybe rice or quinoa? Those are the only two I have on hand. Thanks!

    • Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN says:

      Hi Janelle: Substitute the barley with brown rice or quinoa if you’re going gluten free. Barley is a hearty grain, so brown rice and quinoa will also offer a similar texture and feel to the soup. Thanks for asking! Enjoy the soup!

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