Here I am in my kitchen on the first really frigid day we’ve had. The wind is blowing and there’s a light cover of snow on the ground. We’re in for some bitter cold weather…..the Canadian Clipper has arrived. (Canadian friends, thanks a bunch!). I’m going to indulge myself today and wear my warm leggings, a sweater, heavy socks and slippers. And as you can probably guess I’m making…..soup!
This is excellent, excellent soup. If you like mushrooms and you like barley, this combination in a soup can’t be beat. It’s very easy and economical to make and only takes about an hour.
This is a hearty soup with rich depth of flavor. It’s even better the next day. If it thickens up too much you can always add a little water or more broth. I used two kinds of mushrooms; baby bella(s) and porcinis that I cut rather thick, so biting into them is like eating meat. The flavor is outstanding!!
Be sure to taste before adding salt as broth will have some salt in it, even if it’s lower in sodium. I thought that the 1/4 cup olive oil was a bit too much so only used about half that amount, and the veggies sautéd just fine. If you use regular barley instead of pearled, it will cook quicker if you soak it overnight. Pearled barley cooks in about an hour or a little more. When making soup it’s always best to plan a little extra time, but keep it 98% covered so the broth doesn’t evaporate away while it simmers.
MUSHROOM BARLEY SOUP
Yield: Makes about 6 servings
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 cup sliced carrots
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 6 cups beef broth ( Vegetarians use vegetable broth.)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms (use 2-3 different kinds if possible)
- 3/4 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1. Heat oil in a large soup kettle over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic; cook and stir until onions are tender and transparent.
2. Stir in mushrooms and continue to cook for a few minutes longer.
Pour in the beef broth and add the barley and thyme.
3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and keep at a low simmer until barley is tender, about 50 – 60 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed before serving.
SOURCE: Slightly modified from Allrecipes.com