Friday, November 17, 2006

Mushroom & Barley Soup

This is a very nice soup to serve as a first course or as a way to warm up in chilly weather. There's just something about it that makes me a little glad it's cold and grey out. I use quick cooking barley for this soup, but if you'd rather not, just boil some pearl barley first for about 40 minutes in 2 cups of the stock.

1/4 cup quick-cook barley
6 3/4 cup chicken stock (I sometimes just use water)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped thin
1 Tbs. butter
12 oz. mushrooms, sliced thin
1 Tbs. dried tarragon
1 Tbs fresh chopped parsley
Salt & pepper to taste

Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes or until they are soft.

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft.

Add stock and bay leaf, and bring to boil. Stir in barley (with cooking liquid, if not using quick barley) and mushrooms. Reduce heat, cover, simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add tarragon and parsley in the last minute or two of cooking.

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