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Monday, January 5, 2009

Mushroom Barley Soup: Recipe

This was a hit on New Year's Day. Phew - it could have gone either way, you know? But it was a winner and that makes a cook feel warm and yummy all over!

To be honest, this recipe doesn't have a great recipe, so to speak. I made it two days before the party and needed beef broth but ran out, so I added chicken broth to make up for the broth I was missing. Then, when I was heating it for the party, I brought some to our neighbor which didn't leave enough broth in the pot so I added some more chicken broth. See where I'm headed with this? So here is the "recipe" as best I can recall...

Mushroom Barley Soup
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 lb. mushrooms (baby bella, white button, and shittake), sliced thin
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 oz. pancetta, cubed
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup pearl barley, washed
8 cups of broth (6 beef and 2 chicken)
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. dill, finely chopped
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat and add in the leek and the onion. Saute about 10 minutes until both are very soft. Add in the pancetta and saute another 6-8minutes or until the oil falls away and the meat gets crispy. Next add in the mushrooms and saute about 10-15 minutes over medium heat until they become very soft and lose much of their liquid. Next add in the dill and the parsley and saute quickly - about 1-2 minutes. Add in the broth, bay leaves, the barley, and the salt and pepper, and lower the heat to simmer - about 1 hour or so, until the flavors really come together. Remove soup from the heat and with a handheld stick blender, puree the soup in the pot until the mushrooms are chopped well and soup takes on a slightly thicker look. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Ready to serve (though I believe this tastes better a few days later!).

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