Serves 4 as a starter


  • 100g pearl barley
  • 30ml butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 250g Highveld open brown mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • grated nutmeg to taste
  • 600ml good quality vegetable or chicken stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 125ml soured cream or crème fraiche
  • splash of sherry to serve


  1. Soak the barley in water for a few hours to soften.
  2. Heat the butter in a saucepan and add the drained barley, garlic and onion and sauté until the onion is just translucent. Add the mushrooms, barley and nutmeg and fry for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and heat thoroughly. Check the seasoning after adding the stock as some off-the-shelf varieties can be very salty.
  4. Finally just before serving add the soured cream to the hot soup and at the table offer guests a splash of sherry to finish.

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