Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mushroom Barley Soup

Perhaps you've noticed that I'm a barley freak. From a weight loss standpoint, it's my favorite grain. With 4 grams of protein and a whopping 7 grams of fiber per serving, it's the kind of food that sticks to your ribs, without also sticking to your derriere or your waistline. It's a great replacement for potatoes, rice, or noodles in soups and stews.... and it's cheap!

This recipe was largely based on a recipe from Bon Appetit Magazine, with just a few minor changes.

Mushroom Barley Soup

2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
1/4 oz dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup heated white wine, then drained and trimmed of stems and diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
12 oz button mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
1 parsnip, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine stock and barley in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until barley is tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, soak dried mushrooms in wine.

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add onions and celery, and season with salt and pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms; sauté until brown, about 5 minutes. Mix in garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add sautéed mushroom mixture, soaked/dried mushrooms, carrot and parsnip to soup. Simmer until carrots and parsnip are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

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