This cream of mushroom soup recipe is a twist on the traditional version. It has chunks of fried pork sausage that are suspended in the creamy soup to give it pops of flavour. Pearl barley is added to the dish to provide a little texture and bulk. When served with crusty bread, this recipe will be enough to satisfy any lover of mushrooms.
As a first time parent, one of the things I was looking forward to most about maternity leave was having lots of time to cook! They said the baby will be sleeping most of the time and so I assumed I would have a lot of spare time. Wrong! The first thing I tried to make after Maddy was born was a very basic cream of mushroom soup, and in between countless nappy changes and hours on the couch feeding I think it took about three days to make the whole thing and the end result was a disaster.
People will tell every new mum “Don’t worry, it gets easier”, and while it’s hard to believe at the time, this soup is my testament that things will eventually get there… at least to the point where cream of mushroom soup can be pulled together in an hour, and actually be something you would want to eat. (Getting a toddler to eat it though is a different story.)
It took me over two years before I could re-attempt this dish, and at first I was planning on just dong a basic version but then I had the idea to add some spicy sausages for extra protein and flavour, plus some pearl barley to give the soup more substance. I was very happy with the end result, and I hope you guys like it too!
A few notes on the ingredients:
- Mushrooms – I use portabello mushrooms as I think they have the most flavour, but you can really use any type of mushroom here. If you an get a mix of mushrooms going then that’s even better, it will make the soup more interesting.
- Sausages – if you can handle it, I recommend spicy Italian sausages. For some reason the spiciness just goes really well with this soup. Otherwise, substitute for normal pork sausages. If you want to make this dish vegetarian just forego the sausages altogether.
- Verjuice – the Verjuice is used to deglaze the pan, but before you rush out and buy a bottle know you can also use wine, white wine vinegar, stock or water.
- Stock – I use chicken stock from a carton. If you want to make your stock from scratch, there’s one included in my Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup. If you want a vegetarian version then swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock.
- Serving suggestions – crusty bread rolls and chopped parsley are non-negotiable. A grating of Parmesan cheese is also really lovely.
My Tips for Success
- When frying, make sure each ingredient actually browns a little. This gives the dish more colour, and brings out better flavours.
- The pearl barley will continue to soak up the liquid after cooking. it’s therefore best to cook it only to the point it still has a bit of bite. Also, if you’ve put the soup in the fridge for later, you may need to add water when you reheat to restore any liquid that’s been soaked up.
- Serving suggestions – crusty bread and chopped parsley really finish this soup off. A grating of Parmesan cheese is also really lovely.
This table shows how much this recipe will cost if you had to go out and buy everything on the ingredients list (“Shop Price”), as well as the value of ingredients actually used in the recipe (“Recipe Cost”).
We haven’t bothered with small quantities of salt, pepper or sugar as the cost would be negligible. All prices are in Australian dollars and are based off what was published on Coles Online or Woolworths Online as at time of writing.
|Ingredient||Qty Bought||Shop Price||Recipe
|Brown onion||1 at $2.90/kg||$0.52||1||$0.52|
|Pork sausage||1 packet
|Mushrooms||375 gm at
|Verjuice||375 ml at
$1.77 per 100 ml
|Pearl barley||500 gm at
$0.27 per 100 gm
|1 L carton||$1.90||1 L||$1.90|
|300 ml at
$0.57 per 100 ml
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Cream of Mushroom Soup with Pork Sausage and Pearl Barley
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 250 gm pork sausages
- 1 knob butter
- 1 brown onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup Verjuice (or other deglazing liquid)
- 375 gm mushrooms thickly sliced
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 L low sodium chicken stock
- 250 ml water
- 3/4 cup pearl barley rinsed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- cracked pepper
- 1/3 cup thickened cream
- parsley chopped
- crusty bread rolls
- Parmesan grated (optional)
Prepare all your fresh ingredients. Pull small chunks of sausage meat from the casings.
Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Add the oil and fry the sausage meat until they start to colour (roughly 2 minutes).
Add the butter and onion to the pot. Fry for roughly 2 minutes or until the onion begins to become translucent.
Pour in the Verjuice (or white wine), and scrape away at the bottom of the pot until clear.
Add the mushrooms and cook until softened.
Add the flour and stir well to fully incorporate it into the mixture.
Add the stock, water and pearl barley. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Give the pot a stir every now and then.
After 30 minutes, check the pearl barley is cooked to your liking. Once done, remove from heat and stir through the cream.
Check the seasoning, consistency and creaminess of your soup and adjust according to your taste.
Ladle into bowls, garnish with parsley and serve alongside crusty bread rolls. Grate the Parmesan over the soup, if using.