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Root Vegetable & Barley Soup with Bacon

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 13 cups.

Servings: six to eight.

If you store this for more than a day, the barley will absorb some of the liquid and you’ll need to thin it with a little water when you reheat it.


  • 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 medium red onions, chopped
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 3/4 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts lower-salt chicken broth
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 2 medium purple-top turnips, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 3/4 cup pearl barley, picked over, rinsed, and drained
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 210
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 30
  • Fat (g): 3.5
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 450
  • Carbohydrates (g): 37
  • Fiber (g): 7
  • Protein (g): 11


  • In small bowl, soak the mushrooms in 1 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and pour the liquid through a fine strainer to remove any grit. Reserve the liquid. Rinse the mushrooms, chop them, and set aside.

    Chop the garlic, sprinkle it with 3/4 tsp. salt, and then mash it to a paste with the side of a chef’s knife. Set aside.

    In a 6-quart (or larger) Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, crumble when cool, and set aside.

    Add the onions and 1 tsp. salt to the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic paste, bay leaves, caraway seeds, thyme, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped mushrooms, mushroom liquid, chicken broth, carrots, turnips, potatoes, barley, and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat; skim any foam as necessary. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley and vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and discard the bay leaves. Serve garnished with the bacon.

    You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


Rate or Review

Reviews (8 reviews)

  • Mall0mar | 09/22/2020

    Soup of the week in our house! I added a bit of leftover diced smoked chicken, also some fresh parsley. I hesitated when the recipe said to sauté the onions in the bacon fat...compromised a little by trimming some of the excess fat from the bacon before frying it, and I left just a small amount of fat in the Dutch oven for the onions instead of all of it. A hearty soup, money in the bank when you get home from work.

  • brunaabatecola | 01/21/2018

    Delicious Soup. Made it an vegetarian version. Skipped the bacon.
    Still have great flavour. Instead of the turnips, added parsnips and butternut squash.

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