Thursday, 4 April 2013

Mushroom & Barley Soup

...As a christmas present from work last year, we got a recipe book that I hadn't touched since, well...we got it! (The book we had gotten the year prior to last, was not all that inspirational - I think that was the reason) The other week I had a quick browse through it, and it appears to have some really good recipes in it, charming and rustique!

Now, pictures never do GREAT soup any justice, unless it's pureed and has a little fancy piece of green leaves on top accompanied with nice artisan bread. The same goes for this! I have never liked cream of soup before, but this isn't that, so it's all good! This is more brothy, almost stew like. It tastes a lot better than I expected it to, and I even had my hopes up a little! I think I will pack the last portion with me for lunch today, mmmmmm!

Mushroom & Barley Soup
(Serves 3, about 320 calories each, or 4 people as a starter)

Sorry about the darkness of this picture!

1 small bag dried mushrooms (I used 30g mixed mushrooms)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
500 g mushrooms (I used 50/50 chestnut mushrooms and white mushrooms)
100 g barley (or spelt)
2 tbsp tomato paste
(Optionally a splash of dry sherry)
4 cups mushroom or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

- Firstly, soak the dried mushrooms in a bowl of hot water for about 20 minutes (don't throw the water away, keep the bowl with mushrooms and water until it needs used!).

- Heat the oil in a large pot on medium hear and saute the onion, celery and carrots for about 5 minutes. Now chop the garlic and have it in. Followed by the mushrooms. Saute whilst continue to stir occasionally for about 10minutes until the onions start to release juices. Cover with a lid when you're not stirring.

- Stir in the spelt and mix it so that it will absorb the goodness of the vegetable mix. Toss it around for a few minutes, before adding the tomato paste. Combine it all well for a few minutes until you can smell the sweet aroma, then add the sherry if using.

- Pour over the stock until it just covers the vegetables, add a little salt and pepper, stir well, and leave to simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring once about every 15 minutes until the barley (or spelt) is tender.

Serve this pot of goodness with some good, crusty bread.

Original source:
Home Made Winter by Yvette van Boven, p. 114

- Jules

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