In this grainy soup a combination of barley and mushrooms creates a wonderful taste and texture.
For this recipe I used pressed barley which I found in the oriental section of our grocery store, but pearl barley will work as well – you just need to double the cooking time for the grain to be fully cooked.
Champignons (or the white bottom), cremini (baby bella) or portobello mushrooms – all are good for this soup. Portobello will bring to the dish a little more flavor with a hint of forest mushrooms.
My soup was prepared with vegetable stock, but chicken or beef stock is also good. Sometimes I like to add a spoon of a heavy cream, cream fresh or sour cream to my soup bowl. It creates a new tasteful dimension in this warming soup.
Mushroom Barley Soup
- 12 oz mushrooms, or a mixture of white buttom, cremini and Portobello, coarsely sliced or chopped
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, diced or julienned
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 stick of celery, diced
- 2/3- ¾ cup pressed barley
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- 2 ½ quart of vegetable stock (or chicken)
- Fresh dill or parsley for garnish
In a soup pot, heat olive oil, add onions and cook for about 7 minutes over medium heat.
Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds.
Add the carrots and cook for about 3 minutes until slightly golden.
Add the mushrooms and cook them over high heat until they will start to change the color.
Add the celery.
Pour the stock. Bring to boil.
Add the barley, salt, ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
Bring to boil and cook for about 10-12 minutes until barley is fully cooked.
Let the soup to stay covered for 5-10 minutes.
Serve with fresh parsley or dill and, if you wish, with a dollop of a sour cream, creme fraiche or heavy cream.
In this soup barley could be substituted with rice, mixed rice, spelt or farro. Cooking time could be different.
Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!