Cooking On A Budget: Mushroom and Barley Soup

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mushroom and Barley Soup

On my list of favorite foods are mushrooms. My Beef Barley Soup is one example of using barley - I love the texture and the flavor it imparts in a soup. So, it's not hard to imagine that mushrooms and barley would be sublime in a soup.
Taking the rich flavor of the broth from the dried porcini mushrooms combined with a hearty beef broth makes the perfect back drop for this soup.

  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 pkg. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cans beef broth (I use Campbell's because of its' rich flavor)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 8 oz. package of crimini mushrooms - sliced
  • 1 cup white barley
  • 1 cup or so small sweet onion - small dice
  • 1 cup or so celery - ribs removed - small dice
  • 2-4 carrots - peeled and sliced or diced
  • 1 tsp. fresh chopped thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp.granulated garlic
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  1. In a bowl place 1 1/2 cups hot water along with the dried porcini mushrooms. Let this sit for about 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid for the soup. You can opt to chopped the mushrooms and add them in the soup as well or toss them according to your own taste.
  2. While the mushrooms are soaking prepare your mirepoix (celery, onions and carrots).
  3. In a stock pot over medium heat add some olive oil - about 1-2 tbsp. (You want to just coat the bottom of the pan.)
  4. Next add in the mirepoix and give a good stir. Cook over medium low heat for about 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
  5. Add in the sliced crimini mushrooms and stir. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring until the mushrooms begin to give off their juice.
  6. Add in the spices. (salt, pepper, thyme and granulated garlic. Quick stir.
  7. Then add in the cans of beef broth, the 3 cups of water and the chicken broth.
  8. Cook over medium high heat until the liquid comes up to a bubble.
  9. Last add in the barley and cover the stock pot.
  10. Simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours so the barley will cook and the flavors will meld together.
  11. At the end of that time, taste and adjust for additional seasoning.
I love serving homemade soups with a nice piece of crusty bread. It rounds out the meal and this soup is hearty and rich and filling all by itself. Everything a comforting bowl of soup should be.

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