Crock Pot Mushroom Barley Soup

This crock pot mushroom barley soup is a hearty, filling recipe that can be overnight cooked, or even made in a regular pot. Love this? Check out our instant pot chicken soup too!

Make this delicious crock pot mushroom barley soup - a delicious Eastern European Jewish slow cooker recipe and one of my favorite ideas for Shabbat lunch.

While this Crock Pot mushroom barley soup recipe was created specifically to be made on erev Shabbat for Shabbat lunch, it’s a delicious, flavorful soup for any winter day! It’s such a comforting, filling soup that’s a childhood favorite of mine, although I’ve added my own spin.

I like to add beef chunks since we eat it as the main dish, however you can omit to keep it vegan. With meat, it turns into a robust full meal. You can also add a small amount of carrot chunks if you want more vegetable, however we enjoy it without.

This crock pot mushroom barley soup recipe calls for cooking your soup overnight. This is because I prep it on Friday morning or afternoon for Shabbat (Saturday) lunch. The barley gets very soft but does not fall apart and the flavor is very deep. However, you can also simply cook it on the stove top, in a regular pot, until the beef and barley is fully cooked. Or, put it up in the morning for dinner.

I like to sauté my onions and mushrooms first, however you can skip that step.

And while I never bother to sear my meat, you can if you prefer it that way. I found that it stays very moist in soup.

This recipe makes a 4.5 quart crock pot that can easily serve six, depending on portion size. When my husband and I are eating it as a meal, we use about a third, considering generous portion sizes.

If you’re filling a larger crock pot, increase yoru quantities proportionately. I did not provide a cup measurement for the water, so you it goes by pot size. And finally, since this is a very non-scientific recipe, feel free to replace some of my water for broth for added flavor!

Crock pot mushroom barley soup is a very forgiving recipe:

You can put less barley, leave out the barley, replace it with brown rice or cauliflower for a gluten free version.

You can put more or less mushrooms, depending how you like it. I use basic sliced white mushrooms to keep it basic and cheap, but you can switch up your varieties.

And while I kept the seasoning to those that are very common, I’ve also played around with my favorite Trader Joe’s seasoning mixes including:

  • Mushroom umami – deepens the flavor
  • Onion salt – I use this like some would use soup mixes, in large quantities
  • Chili lime – to add a unique twist

Or just stick to lots of onion and garlic powder, salt, pepper, and paprika.

Ingredients needed to make Mushroom Barley Soup in the Slow Cooker:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 16 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • About a lb of cubed stew beef
  • 1/2 cup barley (this is a moderate amount – if you like it very starchy, you can add 3/4 cup or more)
  • Water to fill or broth


  • 1 T salt
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T paprika


How to make crock pot mushroom barley soup

1. First, chop your onion.

2. Let a little bit of olive oil heat at the bottom of the crock pot on high, and sauté your onions. Note: if you want to make this a one-dish recipe, start this earlier and sauté in the crock pot. To expedite it a little, pop the insert into the oven (double check your slow cooker’s oven safeness). To expedite it more, sauté it in a frying pan first, or skip sautéing- it’ll soften plenty.

3. Rinse your mushrooms well and add them to the crock pot once your onions have softened somewhat. I like to allow the mushrooms to sauté as well, just to keep the flavor alive.

4. Add your beef and mix well.

5. Add your seasoning.

6. Add the barley. Mix everything together.

7. Cover the ingredients with water up to an inch from the top. You can use broth too if you’d like (I just season it well instead).

8. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low overnight. You can also start it on high for 2-3 hours just so that it starts cooking quicker and then switch it to low. As I mentioned, it’s a forgiving recipe…

Your crock pot mushroom barley soup is ready to eat and enjoy. What will you be making yours for? Comment below! Printable version at the end of this post.

Mushroom Barley Soup in the Slow Cooker
Yield: 6-8

Mushroom Barley Soup in the Slow Cooker

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

This easy mushroom barley soup is an incredibly forgiving recipe and easy to get right. With optional beef added, it's the perfect main dish for a freezing winter Shabbat lunch, or a hearty one-pot dinner.


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 16 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb of cubed stew beef
  • 1/2 cup barley (this is a moderate amount – if you like it very starchy, you can add 3/4 cup or more)
  • Water to fill or broth


  • 1 T salt
  • 1 t. black pepper
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T paprika



  1. Sauté your onion (optional). When translucent, add your mushroom and allow it to sauté a little as well. Skip if you want this to go quicker. You can sauté in the slow cooker on high, in the slow cooker insert in the oven, or in a frying pan on the stove top.
  2. Add your beef, barley, and seasoning and mix.
  3. Cover with water or broth up to one inch from the top.
  4. Cook on high for four hours or low overnight.


  • For food safety reasons, you may prefer to start it on high, so it cooks quicker.
  • It's a forgiving recipe - don't worry too much about cook times, etc.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

© Menucha Citron Ceder
Cuisine: Eastern European / Category: Soups
  • Slow cooker mushroom barley soup hero image
  • Slow cooker soups make great dinner - and this beef and grain soup is a savory delight! Make this Jewish crock pot mushroom barley soup in the slow cooker and cook overnight for an easy one dish dinner and everyday meal.

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