Don’t cook barley for more than 30 minutes, or it will open too much and become mushy. For best results, you want a little “bite,” and barley should retain its shape.
Mixed-Up Mushroom Barley Soup
- 8 cup chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup diced (¼ inch) carrots
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried tarragon, crumbled
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup diced
- (¼ inch) onion
- 2 tsp finely minced garlic
- 10 oz white mushrooms (stems removed), wiped clean with a damp paper towel and cut into quarters
- 6 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms (stems removed), wiped clean with a damp paper towel and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 Tbsp
- dry sherry
- 4 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large, heavy soup pot, combine the broth, barley, carrots and tarragon; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the barley is just tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes.
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook 3 minutes longer. Add all the mushrooms, raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes. Add this mixture to the soup pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the soup for 20 minutes.
Stir in the sherry and parsley, then adjust the seasonings. Serve hot.
Serves 8. Per serving: 140 calories, 17g carbohydrate, 4g protein, 6g fat, 5mg cholesterol.