Sunday, 16 November 2008

Mushroom and barley soup

I spent last Sunday in a lovely haze of pottering. The Scientist was still away at his gaming convention and I used the time to catch up on some sewing, some tidying - and a little mushroom indulgence. This mushroom and barley soup is a Moosewood favourite I've made before, but not for some time. It's quite long on preparation time - you need to pre-soak the dried mushrooms and then prep the veggies before leaving the whole lot to cook for 45 minutes, but as long as you're a bit organised it's not much actual effort. It's a light and brothy soup which isn't my usual leaning, but I love the chew of the barley and the mushrooms and they'd be lost - or at least something else entirely - in a blended thick soup. The mushroom soaking liquid become the basis for the stock as well, so it's all nice and flavoursome. I made it for lunch and got on with my latest quilt project while it was simmering. I burnt my mouth on it because I like things very hot, but forgot just how hot brothy soups can be!

Dried mushroom soup with barley (from Moosewood Low Fat Favourites)
Serves 4 - 8

2/3 cup dried mushrooms
6 cups boiling water
1 tsp veg oil
2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1 cup finely chopped celery (3 stalks)
1 cup peeled and finely chopped carrots (2 medium)
3 cups sliced mushrooms (about 10oz)
1/4 cup soy sauce
pinch dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup raw pearl barley
1/4 cup dry sherry or 2 tsp honey (optional - I omitted it)
salt and pepper, to taste

Ina saucepan, cover the dried mushrooms with 6 cups of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the oil in a soup pot on low heat. Add the onions and garlic, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add fresh mushrooms, increase the heat to medium, and cook, stirring continuously for about 3 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to release their juices. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the mushroom stock. Cut off and discard any tough stems, then rinse and chop the mushrooms. Strain the stock through a sieve or a paper filter. Add enough water to the stock to make 7 cups of liquid. Add the chopped dried mushrooms, mushroom stock, soy sauce, thyme, pepper, barley, and optional sherry or honey to the pot sauteed vegetables. Bring to a boil and then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.

When ready to serve, add salt and pepper to taste. Add more water if it's reduced down and become too thick.


Johanna said...

mushroom and barley work so well - I agree it would be a shame to blend it but I usually do mine a bit thicker as I love the way the barley thickens the soup - perfect for a lazy autumn afternoon

Eco Sis said...

oooh, i somehow missed this post before, this is surely the most professional looking photo yet!


Lysy said...

Johanna - you're absolutely right, and it's a lovely stew if you don't add so much liquid!

Thank you Eco Sis!! It must be actually having some daylight to photograph in which makes it look better. The steam was a fluke but I will pretend I knew it would turn out like that :)