15 Jan. 2022: Mushroom Barley Soup

I didn’t set out to make Moosewood’s Mushroom Barley Soup today, but after I finished bread baking in the afternoon, it seemed like a better idea than my originally planned dinner. I spent a good part of Saturday baking Hi-Rise Bakery’s Corn Bread (recipe found in Maggie Glezer’s Artisan Baking Across America). No, not that kind of cornbread. This is one of the Cambridge bakery’s signature loaves which, to me is nearly perfect.

What could be better than a supper of warm, hot soups and fresh bread? I don’t know, but on this frigid New England evening, that’s what we went with, and I was glad we did!

Moosewood’s Mushroom-Barley soup has an appealing earthiness and is simple to pull together – just remember that it does take a little bit of time to cook the pearl barley. It is vegetarian, of course, but comforting and hearty.

Moosewood Cookbook Mushroom Barley Soup

Mollie Katzen, Moosewood Cookbook

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw pearled barley
  • 6 1/2 cups stock or water
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp salt
  • 3-4 TBSP Tamari
  • 3-4 TBSP dry sherry
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (heaping) cup chopped onions
  • 1 lb. mushroom, sliced
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Cook the barley in 1 1/2 cups of stock or water until tender. Cook it right in the soup kettle. (This took about 45-50 minutes on simmer – you may need to add additional water so keep your eye on things)
  2. Add the remaining stock or water (about 5 cups), tamari and sherry.
  3. Sauté the onions and garlic in butter. When they soften, add mushrooms and 1/2 tsp salt.
  4. When all is tender, add to the barley, being sure to include the liquid the vegetables expressed while cooking.
  5. Give it a generous grinding of black pepper and simmer 20 minutes, covered, over the lowest possible heat.
  6. Taste to correct seasonings and serve.

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