Russian Monday: "Gribnoy Soup" - Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom and barley soup is one of my favorite soups since childhood. The only difference between now and then is that years ago the soup had to be made from dried mushrooms. Back then in Russia it was not possible to buy a lot of fresh food during winter time, especially mushrooms. Summer was a busy season for making jams, picking wild berries and mushrooms in a forests. However, to be used throughout the year these had to be dried and frozen.

Only the best mushrooms (porcini mushrooms or the like) were used for drying. They were carefully selected, cleaned and hanged on the thread somewhere in the dry and warm corner of the kitchen. There could never be a lot of mushrooms, so the soup was made on special occasions. It was the best soup that I ever had, full of aroma complemented by nice texture of barley. My mom always used to add potatoes to the soup, but I like to cook it without potatoes. Now dried wild mushrooms are expensive, so I use fresh mushrooms and cook this soup very often. But still every time it reminds me of my early days at home.

Mushrooms Blackberries Around House 1

Serves: 4


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 celery stick, chopped (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 8 oz. fresh wild mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup barley
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 Tbsp. scallions, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • sour cream for serving (optional)
  • fresh herbs for serving


Heat the oil and butter in a large pan until foaming. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic, and cook gently for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened but not colored.

Chop or thinly slice the fresh mushrooms and add to the pan. Stir over a medium heat for a few minutes until they begin to soften. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Add the barley, salt and pepper. Lower the heat, half-cover the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the chopped scallions, taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve hot with sour cream, garnish with fresh herbs.

Mushroom Barley Soup 2


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...
March 17, 2014 at 3:49 AM  

A healthy and delicious soup! Rustic and refined.



March 17, 2014 at 4:35 AM  

I love wild mushrooms! And I love mushrooms soups of any kind, especially when they are made from mushrooms I hunted myself in the forest.

I like your recipe, Yelena. It looks delicious. Nice addition to my already large wild mushroom repertory.

Greetings! - Dominique

Medeja said...
March 17, 2014 at 5:24 AM  

I miss those nice mushrooms that we can pick in the forest.. :)

Regina Melo-Jocknevich said...
March 17, 2014 at 7:49 AM  

Good morning Yelena.

I love barley, but not much mushrooms (my husband loves them), but lately I've been very open to try new food, and I feel that I could try it.

ps.: I know what you mean when reminds you of your early days at home, food indeed has this power to bring back powerful emotions and happy days.

La Table De Nana said...
March 17, 2014 at 9:06 AM  

That's all I need for a meal..
You have lovely surroundings Yelena:)

Angie Schneider said...
March 17, 2014 at 11:13 AM  

I like the pairing of mushrooms and barley. The soup looks very tasty.

theroadtoserendipity said...
March 17, 2014 at 12:55 PM  

I love barley and mushrooms and to pair them in a soup is sheer genius but then Russian cookery IS sheer genius in my books :). Now that our weather is cooling down and the mornings are decidedly crispy I am going to start lighting our big 4 oven wood burning stove again. "Brunhilda" and I spend about 7 months of the year in close communion and we bake, stew, braise, dry, cook, proof and generally share our time together in this little space on the other side of the world but I can see a large pot of Gribnoy soup simmering and bubbling gently on the stove in the immediate future thanks to this wonderful share. Thankyou Yelena :)

Te de Ternura said...
March 17, 2014 at 11:27 PM  

Yo también prepararé tu sopa sin patata. Me encantan las setas y desde luego que este plato es muy sugerente y no me lo pienso perder.

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...
March 18, 2014 at 12:16 AM  

For a huge fan of mushrooms, this soup sounds very appetizing and your mushrooms shot is so beautiful!! I suddenly crave for mushrooms. My grandma used to eat barley and this soup reminds me of her a little. :)

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