Vegan Miso Mushroom and Barley Stew

Mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and thyme make a dreamy, comforting combo all on their own, but add miso and hearty barley and you’ve got a new recipe you’ll make over and over again. This warming soup recipe from The Plant-Forward Solution cookbook is easily made gluten-free by swapping the barley for buckwheat groats. 

What you need:

1 cup raw cashews
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms (such as oyster, cremini, or shiitake), sliced
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
⅔ cup pearled barley
2 tablespoons white miso paste

What you do:

  1. In a small saucepan over high heat, add cashews and 1 cup of broth and heat just until it comes to a boil. Pour into a high-powered blender, cover, and set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper, and sauté, stirring often, until mushrooms soften and begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in vinegar, then add barley and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add remaining broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Transfer 1 cup of soup (including some mushrooms and barley) and miso to blender with cashews and blend until very smooth. 
  5. Stir cashew mixture into stew. Divide into 4 soup bowls and serve.
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