07 December, 2011

Mushroom Barley Soup

This soup has a wonderful earthy flavor. It fills the kitchen and surrounding rooms with this incredible country home aroma.

Just imagine rolling green hills with majestic oak trees (or your ideal landscape) visible through the kitchen window, your home warm from the wood burning stove flickering in the corner ... a slice of home made bread right out of the oven joining your bowl of soup on the table ...

Can you picture it?

That's what this soup will do for you. Honest.

2-3 Garlic cloves (as preferred)
1 Lrg Onion
1 Mushroom basket
1 Lrg Carrots
1 Celery stick
1 cube Veggie Broth* (see below)
1/2 C Barley
4 C Water
Bay Leaf
pepper as desired

This soup is best in quick stages of sautéing initial ingredients to help flavors become more pronounced.

1. In a big soup pot, sauté garlic and onion.
2. Add mushrooms and stir, sauté another 5+ mn. or until mushroom release their juice.
3. Add sliced carrot and celery, stir, and give it another few minutes.
4. Add 4 C of hot water and the veggie broth.
5. Add barley, bring to boil then simmer for 40-45 mn.
6. Throw a couple strings of bay leaf on top of the water for additional flavor if desired.

***Useful TIP: Barley takes 4 times the volume in water, or 2 C water for 1/2 C of barley. In order to keep the soup "juicy," be sure to add a couple (or more) cups of water to the soup.***

Do you notice an additional ingredient in the above and below picture?
Yes, black eye peas ...

It so happened I had a cup left in the fridge and threw that in the soup for good measure. Beans would be great too I think, with this mix. Hmmm!

*Veggie broth: you can find both salted and non-salted version of veggie broth. This being a big pot of soup, the salted version will do fine. In smaller batches, I often opt for the non-salted, preferring to control the amount of salt myself.
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