Mushroom and Wheat Berry Soup Recipe

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Nutritious Delicious: Turbocharge Your Favorite Recipes with 50 Everyday SuperfoodsA healthy alternative to mushroom soups loaded with cream, this combination of mushrooms and wheat berries is rich and substantial but not heavy, and full of satisfying, savory flavors. Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed kernels of wheat and an excellent source of nutrients. To bring out their nutty flavor, we toasted them in a dry Dutch oven. Next we slowly cooked our cremini mushrooms in a covered pot to concentrate their flavors and extract the juices. To amplify the earthiness of the wheat berries and creminis, we built a flavorful base from ground dried shiitake mushrooms, tomato paste, soy sauce, dry sherry, and plenty of garlic. Grinding the shiitakes ensured their flavor permeated the broth. After simmering our wheat berries, we finished the soup with vitamin-packed mustard greens and some lemon zest for freshness. White mushrooms can be substituted for the cremini. We used a spice grinder to process the dried shiitake mushrooms, but a blender also works.

  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 1 cup wheat berries, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ pounds cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 8 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, finely ground using spice grinder
  • 4 ounces mustard greens, stemmed and chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
How to Make It
  1. Toast wheat berries in Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and beginning to darken, about 5 minutes; transfer to bowl.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in now-empty pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add cremini mushrooms and ¼ teaspoon salt, cover, and cook until mushrooms have released their liquid, about 3 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until mushrooms begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to plate.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in now-empty pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook until slightly darkened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in sherry, scraping up any browned bits, and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in toasted wheat berries, broth, soy sauce, thyme, bay leaf, and ground shiitakes and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until wheat berries are tender but still chewy, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Discard bay leaf and thyme sprig.
  5. Off heat, stir in reserved cremini and any accumulated juices, mustard greens, and lemon zest, cover, and let sit until greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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