Mixed Mushroom & Barley Soup

Mixed Mushroom & Barley Soup

Soup… a wonderfully homey and nostalgic meal embodying home, family and tradition.

I love this soup because it highlights fall in many ways, from its colors to the ingredients used. It’s a great meal to help your body adjust and bridge the gap between seasons. Not too heavy but just hearty enough to keep you full and satisfied as the days get cooler.

Happy cooking!

you will need:

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

1 mid sized onion, diced small/medium

1 mid-sized leek, white and light green parts only - cut in half lengthwise and sliced thinly

1 clove of garlic, minced

3-4 carrots, sliced into 1/4 wide coins

3 stalks celery, sliced similarly to the carrots, 1/4 inch wide

1 1/2 cup winter squash, cubed - I used red kuri, but other varieties would also work well

3 large leaves of swiss chard, torn or sliced in to “mouth manageable” pieces

About 1.5 lbs mixed mushrooms, left whole or cut into bit sized pieces - I used a mixture of trumpet, clamshell, chanterelle, miatake and nameko. More the merrier, in my opinion!

1 cup pearled barley

1/4 cup unsalted, unsweetened tahini

8-10 cups stock, room temperature - I like to use a 70/30 mixture of veggie and chicken stock - but to make this soup vegan only use veggie stock

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves only

pinch of celery seed

pinch of cumin

pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp. nutritional yeast

Splash of apple cider vinegar, optional

salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

  1. First, rinse and strain the barley, then cook till al dente or slightly less than. Set aside when finished.

  2. While the barley is cooking, heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot over a medium flame. Once the oil comes to temp, easily sidling along the bottom of your pot, add in the onion, followed by the leek - season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the garlic - stir to combine.

  3. Add in the carrots, celery and seasonings, stir to combine and cook for about 3 minutes before adding in the mushrooms.

  4. Pour on the stock and bring the soup to a steady simmer then add in the squash and cooked barley.

  5. Using a blender, blend the tahini with about a cup of hot broth, take from the soup. Blend on high to get rid of any gritty pieces in the tahini. Pour on the soup through a fine mesh sieve.

  6. Simmer the soup on low, partly covered for about 20 minutes so soup has time to concentrate and lightly reduce.

  7. Ten minutes before serving, stir in the parsley and swiss chard; simmer for another five minutes. Check for salt and correct. Add freshly ground pepper. Add the apple cider vinegar, if using.

    Garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot. Enjoy!

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