Vegetable Mushroom Barley Soup

This is the soup that reminded me to ALWAYS WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. I created this soup one day last winter as a way to use some barley I had in the house, never imagining what a hit it would be. Of course everyone loved it and I then had to duplicate it somehow. It took a few tries over a number of months but I've finally got it. Lesson learned, write everything down when cooking.

Vegetable Mushroom Barley Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic- smashed with the side of a knife
  • 7 oz shitake mushrooms, sliced (stems discarded)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1/2 oz dried mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 8 cups vegetable broth/stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup pearled barley
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Kosher salt to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425
Spread sweet potato, celery, carrots and zucchini on a parchment lined sheet pan. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp kosher salt and drizzle 1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil on the vegetables. Mix well and spread out. Roast for 45 minutes in oven.

Meanwhile , place dried mushrooms in a small bowl and pour 1 cup boiling water over them. Let rehydrate, uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove mushrooms one at a time from the liquid, (swishing each around in the liquid as you do so). Strain the liquid through a strainer lined with a double layer of paper towels. Mince mushrooms well (alternatively chop fine in a mini food processor)

In a large pot or Dutch Oven heat 1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil, add chopped onion and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for 10 minutes stirring often. Add garlic and sliced mushrooms. Cook another 10 minutes, stirring often.

Add roasted vegetables, fresh mushrooms, minced rehydrated mushrooms, mushroom liquid, stock, 3 cups of water, barley and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook approximately 1 hour until done.
Finish with white wine vinegar and a season with freshly ground black pepper and more Kosher salt if needed.

Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Can also be frozen. Texture will change but it will still be delicious. If refrigerating or freezing soup it will thicken and you may wish to thin it out slightly with additional stock or water.

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