Mushroom, bean, and barley soup
This recipe, from Bonnie Stern’s HeartSmart (Random House Canada, 2006), is one of my favorites. Over the years, this savory, nourishing and fulfilling soup seems to be the one I deliver most often to friends and family. Bonnie was kind enough to let me include it in this book.
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) dried wild mushrooms
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
- 4 cups (1 L) diced assorted fresh mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped
- 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) white kidney beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup
- 1 cup (250 mL) pearl barley
- 8 cups (2 L) chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 Tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped parsley
Soak the dried mushrooms in enough hot water to cover them for 30 minutes. When softened, strain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Rinse any grit from the mushrooms. Dice them and set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in the oil, until the onions are softened.
Add the fresh and soaked mushrooms and garlic. Sauté for 10 minutes.
Stir in the beans and barley.
Add the stock and mushroom-soaking liquid. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low.
Simmer, uncovered, until the barley is tender and the soup thickens, about 30 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle up a chunky simmering cup, and garnish with an enlightening sprinkle of chopped parsley.
Adapted from The Soup Sisters Cookbook edited by Sharon Hapton and Pierre A. Lamielle (Appetite by Random House). Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.