Enough already. Really. I was going to post a smoothie recipe this week for any and all of us who might be just a teensy bit guilt ridden over holiday overindulgence, but with a foot of snow on the ground and roads turned to skating rinks, it just didn’t feel right. It seems as if we have been snowed in for days – oh yeah – we have. Living at nearly the end of a gravel road without much gravel makes for tough sledding in this weather. Dick has been out hand shoveling our road for hours on end in hopes that sometime soon we may find our way out. And since we officially ran out of coffee this morning, I am betting a trail will be blazed tomorrow into town. In the meantime, I’ve got a pot of Mushroom Barley soup simmering away on the stove. Warm and comforting, even on the coldest of days.
Mushrooms, carrots, onions and barley are about all you’ll need, with some chicken or mushroom stock added and a few other little things here and there.
Everything gets sautéed in a Dutch oven or big soup pot until vegetables are tender. Keep an eye on your mushrooms – they often want to give up a lot of liquid which is totally their own business, so just keep cooking until all the liquid has been evaporated. This adds a ton more flavor to your mushrooms and gives you an overall better soup experience.
All that’s left is stirring in the barley, adding the stock of your choice, some seasoning and herb or two, and let this guy simmer until the barley is tender. Starches in the barley will thicken the soup so you get a big, hearty bowlful. I, for one, am not a thin soup kind of person, and am happiest if I can stand a fork up in a bowl without it tipping over.
Get out a big old soup bowl, grab some crusty bread or crackers slathered in butter, and go to town!
Oops – almost forgot my favorite part. Let’s search out some cheeses and not be stingy about sprinkling on top. I chose a sharp cheddar and Jarlesberg just because that’s what was in the fridge.
Where did that spoon go?
Keep warm, be safe in your travels, and let’s celebrate life’s most precious moments, that can often celebrated over a bowl of soup. Hope you enjoy!! xoxxo
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 6 cups mushrooms, sliced (use a variety for the most fun: button, crimini, chanterelle, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, or to taste
- 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- 2 quarts mushroom broth, or chicken broth, or a combination of both
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat the oil and sauté the onion until softened. Add the mushrooms and carrots. Sauté until they have carrots are semi-soft and mushrooms have caramelized and given up all their liquid.
- Add garlic, miso paste, and thyme. Stir to mix. Add rinsed barley.
- Pour in the broth you've chosen. You may need to add more to get your soup to the consistency you like best.
- Bring to boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until barley and carrots are tender.