Shiitake and Barley Soup with Root Vegetables

A deliciously warming and grounding soup that’s just perfect for the Autumn season.  This’ll get even better the next day, and it freezes well for an easy, restorative lunch too.



  • 8-10 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 C pearled barley *soaked overnight
  • 3 tsp tamari
  • a 5cm piece of kombu (or use wakame in it’s absence)
  • 1.75-2L vegetable stock or water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2-3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
  • 2 carrots, unpeeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 medium sweet potato, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 swede, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 medium parsnip, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 1-2 tsp mirin (optional)
  • big handful of parsley, chopped, to serve



Soak barley (overnight if you can), in 3 cups of water and a spoonful of yoghurt, or a squeeze of lemon.

Break up the dried shiitake into a big soup pot, adding the drained barley, tamari, dried thyme, seaweed and 1.75L of stock or water. Gently simmer, partly covered, for about 20 mins.

Meanwhile, start dicing. In a fry pan sauté the onions, garlic and fresh thyme. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper to the pan and stir on a low heat until the onions just start to colour.

Add the onions to the pot, as well as all your well diced veggies and grated ginger. Simmer gently for 45 min – 1 hour with the pot partly covered. Keep your eye on the liquid and add more water or stock if necessary. Check the seasoning, it may need more salt or tamari- this will be personal preference.

Serve with LOTS of parsley.


Jess xx