soup for eating in bed (mushroom barley)

March 27, 2010

I was on my way home today, thinking of what I could make that would be cozy, hearty, and filling. And could make a dent in my refrigerator full of broth. Mushroom barley soup came to mind. I hadn’t ever made it, but since I still had some left over mushroom broth in the fridge, I thought I would give it a try.

I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and picked up some mushrooms, barley, and a few other ingredients.

To make the soup.

First add a little olive oil and butter to a pan on medium low heat, about 1-2 tablespoons each. Add about 1/2 an onion, finely chopped, and saute. Meanwhile, finely chop one stalk of celery, and add, as the onions are cooking.

Then add several handfuls of mushrooms (I used a combination of shiitake and crimini, roughly chopped). My mom once told me that sauteing mushrooms in butter brings out their flavor, so I usually try to do this for soups, etc.

Next, add a carrot, diced. And a thyme sprig or two, the leaves pulled of and rubbed before tossing into the soup. I like to space out my vegetables. Take care to make sure nothing burns!

After the vegetables have cooked for a few minutes, add one cup uncooked barley, and about 1 quart broth. I used a mixture of Hearty Mushroom Broth, and Winter Broth (from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Soups, and Greens and cookbooks respectively). Broth is very important here! It is what gives the soup its flavor. Home made broth is a lot of work, but worth it.

You can toss in a Parmigiano cheese rind, for flavor. One of my favorite things in soup.

Bring soup to a low boil, turn heat down, and simmer, about 35-40 minutes, or until barley is tender.

Serve garnished with grated Parmigiano, chopped parsley, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Great soup to eat while curled up under the covers in bed.

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