Robust Mushroom and Barley Soup
I adore the flavor and meatiness of mushrooms! I like them equally ~ whether raw, sautéed in butter, or in my savory mushroom and mustard casserole. But, I’ve been addicted to soup lately, probably because it has been very cold, windy and snowy here. So, a while ago, when I saw the recipe for mushroom soup in The Chicago Tribune, I knew I had to try it.
This recipe I’m sharing with you combines mild earthy, fresh button mushrooms with the nutty-woodsy flavor of dried porcini mushrooms. Both the texture and flavor of these mushrooms remind me of meat. Mushrooms, being like tiny sponges, soak up the flavor of the sautéed shallots and garlic, giving them an appealing hearty flavor.
I made a few changes in the recipe: I added Montreal seasoning, substituted button mushrooms for cremini, since the grocery store had none; and, I added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar to enhance the flavor of the mushrooms. The recipe called for ½ cup of barley. We really like barley, so I upped it to 1 cup for a thicker full-bodied soup.
Like I said, this soup is perfect for a cold winter day. Just be sure to serve it with plenty of rustic bread alongside for sopping up every last bit of soup. This is my “new favorite” soup!
Mushroom and Barley Soup
1 package (1 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound button mushrooms, wiped clean
8 cups beef stock, very low-sodium
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 cup pearl barley
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Place porcini mushrooms in a bowl.
Cover with 2 cups boiling water.
Soak, submerged with a small plate, 20 minutes.
Squeeze liquid from mushrooms and reserve.
Warm oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat.
Add shallots and garlic; cook until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes.
Remove shallots mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
Add button mushrooms and cook until their liquid releases, about 5-8 minutes.
Stir in shallot and garlic mixture, beef stock, thyme, reserved mushroom liquid and reconstituted porcini.
Add Montreal Steak Seasoning and heat to a boil.
Stir in barley; reduce heat to a simmer.
Cook, partially covered, until barley is tender, about 40 minutes.
Stir in balsamic vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 5 minutes.
Top with parsley and serve.
Ummmm, mmmm, good!!! My “new favorite” soup!
Go visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for excellent tips and recipes. She’s having a great giveaway now!!!