This flavor-loaded bok choy mushroom barley soup will be your go-to recipe during cold and flu season! It’s filled to the brim with immune system boosting ingredients and you can get it on the dinner table in 35 minutes! Vegan, dairy-free, nut-free.
***This post contains affiliate links.
Lately, it seems like everyone around me is coming down with the flu.
Ughhh…yuck. Unfortunately, I still have to go out into the world and be around all the sickies even though I’d rather just stay in my safe little bubble at home.
I refuse to get a flu shot so I try to focus on naturally boosting my immune system by taking supplements (vitamin c, zinc, elderberry, oil of oregano) and eating whole foods that are immune system boosting.
The easiest way for me to get a boat load of immune system boosting foods into our diets is by putting them all into one delicious and hearty soup!
I also like to make this nourishing lemon artichoke orzo soup when we start to feel a cold coming on.
Which Ingredients Will Help to Boost Your Immune System?
Pretty much all of the ingredients in this bok choy mushroom barley soup will help to give your immune system a massive boost! This bok choy mushroom barley soup is loaded with vitamins and nutrients to help you feel better!
- Bok Choy – Bok choy is one of the best anti-inflammatory foods you can eat! It’s a cruciferous vegetable that’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
- Barley – Barley contains beta-glucan which is a type of fiber that has antimicrobial and antioxidant components that are more potent than echinacea.
- Mushrooms – Mushrooms are selenium, beta-glucan, and antioxidant-rich.
- Onions – Onions are a great source of vitamin C, zinc, and phytochemicals that are very beneficial to your immune system.
- Miso – Miso is antiviral and helps to alkalize your system.
- Garlic – Garlic fights infection and bacteria in your body.
- Ginger – Ginger is antiviral and antibacterial.
- Lemon – Lemons are naturally rich in flavanoids, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
Bok Choy Mushroom Barley Soup is Healthy but Does it Taste Good?
So, it’s pretty obvious that this bok choy mushroom barley soup is REALLY good for you, it’s ready in 35 minutes and it’s easy to make…buttt does it taste good too?!
Yesssss! This bok choy mushroom barley soup is so delicious that I could eat it for days and days without tiring of it!
Actually, I did eat it for days and days when I was testing this recipe out for the blog and I’m still craving it. The flavors of the sweet bok choy, sauteed mushrooms, and mouth-watering broth go so well together that I’m sure you’ll love it too!
Ohhh, the broth is so flavorful, I could drink a bowl of it just by itself!
The broth is easy to make and it’s darn delicious! I just love the combination of fresh ginger, garlic, white miso, and lemon. It tastes so nourishing, you just feel really good eating it.
To me, there is nothing better than food that tastes amazing but it makes you feel amazing too.
What Type of Bok Choy Should You Use?
We loveee baby bok choy!
It tastes like a sweet cabbage and it goes so well with many different recipes. You could put it in a stir-fry, cut it in half and serve it in pho, slice it and mix it with cauliflower fried rice, or bake it as a side dish. Just make sure you get the right type of bok choy.
My local market only had the larger “adult” bok choy for the longest time, and it’s just not the same. I prefer the baby bok choy for this recipe because of its sweet flavor and crisp texture in the soup.
This is what you should look for when you pick out baby bok choy:
- Look for the medium-sized heads, don’t pick the biggest ones in the bunch.
- Pick the baby bok choy that have the most dark green leaves on top.
- Check the outer layers of the bok choy for brown or wet spots, that’s a sign it’s starting to go bad.
- If you see a variety of bok choy with a green stem with purple leaves, get it! They’re very delicious and anything naturally purple (like these vegan broccoli and cheese stuffed purple sweet potatoes) is antioxidant-rich.
How Do You Prepare Baby Bok Choy?
I’m sure you’ve seen the gorgeous pictures of pho with the half piece of perfectly cooked baby bok choy floating on top, right?
The first time I made pho at home, I served the baby bok choy that way. It was a really pretty presentation but not realistic for us. You can’t cut the bok choy up in a soup bowl, so you try to take a bite and it doesn’t really come apart so you have to gobble up the whole piece in one bite. Plus, Travis wants a huge mountain of bok choy in his bowl.
Nah, it’s just easier to wash and eat the bok choy by slicing it into ribbons.
To prep the baby bok choy:
- Slice and discard the end (root).
- I like to thinly slice (a little bit less than 1/4 inch) the stems and cut the greens a little bit thicker (about 1-1 1/2 inch thick).
- Put the sliced bok choy into a large bowl with cold water and a few splashes of vinegar. Let it soak for 10 minutes and then drain, rinse, and dry well.
- It might look like a lot of bok choy but, like spinach, it wilts down to practically nothing when you cook it.
Related Vegan Soup Recipes
- 1 cup dry barley
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3/4 lb cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 medium heads of bok choy, sliced
- 1 quart vegetable broth (low sodium)
- 1 cup water
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 3 tbsp white miso
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- Cilantro for garnish, roughly chopped
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Cook the barley separately so it doesn't absorb all the broth in the soup. Drain well and set aside.
In a dutch oven, saute the diced onions in olive oil for 5-8 minutes or until translucent. Season with a pinch of salt.
Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic. Saute for 10 minutes.
Add the sliced baby bok choy, grated ginger, water, and vegetable broth. Cover, bring to a simmer then reduce the heat and let cook for 5 minutes or until the bok choy is tender but not too soft.
Take the soup off the heat. Remove one cup of the broth from the soup and put it into a small bowl. Add the miso to the bowl and whisk it together. Pour the mixture back into the pot.
Stir in the fresh lemon juice, pepper, and a handful of cilantro into the soup right before serving.
Add a 1/4 cup of barley to each soup bowl and serve the soup over the top.
- Don't cook the barley in the soup, it will absorb most of the broth. Also, store the barley separately from the leftover soup.
- Don't add the miso to the soup too early. Miso is a fermented food, so it has live active cultures that can't survive boiling hot broth. Don't kill the probiotics!
- You can garnish with fresh basil if you don't like cilantro.
- If you don't care for bok choy; napa cabbage, beet greens, spinach, dandelion greens, or kale would be good substitutes.
- You could use quinoa, freekah, orzo, wheat berries, or any small noodle in place of the barley.
If you make this vegan bok choy mushroom barley soup, please share your picture on Instagram and tag @StaceyHomemaker so I can see your delicious creation!
Want to start your own healthy food blog and share all of your delicious recipes?
Learn how to do it in just 3 easy steps + check out the 10 tools that all new bloggers need to be successful!
What’s your favorite way to prepare baby bok choy? Let me know in the comments!
NEVER MISS A STACEY HOMEMAKER CREATION!
Add me on Snapchat to see what I’m cooking today! – StaceyHomemaker
You might also like…