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Mushroom Barley Soup


-1 to 2 oz dried Porcini mushrooms, chopped, liquid reserved

-1/2 TBSP butter

-8 strips bacon

-1/2 cup plus  7 1/2 cups beef broth

-3 to 4 shallots, minced

-5 carrots, sliced

-10 oz Babybella or Cremini mushrooms, chopped

-3 oz Shitake mushrooms

-1 Tbsp thyme

-1 bay leaf

-1 cup pearled barley

-2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

-2 Tbsp heavy cream


-Soak dried porcinis in enough water to cover them for 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms to a paper towel and reserve soaking liquid for later.

-Mince shallots and set aside. Chop Babybellas, Shitakes and carrots and set aside together.

-Melt butter on high in a stockpot until bubbling. Cook bacon to render fat and remove to a paper towel (you can eat it now or save for later to crumble on top. Or you can toss it if you wish).Leave pot on heat. Add 1/2 cup beef broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bacon fat pieces from bottom of the pot. Let stock reduce for a few minutes then add shallots. Reduce heat to low and cook until shallots are soft, about 5 minutes.

-Turn heat to medium high and add carrots and mushrooms to pot. Cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add thyme and bay leaf and cook another minute. Turn heat to high and add the rest of the beef broth. Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 50 minutes, stirring occassionally.

-Cook 1 cup barley to package directions - use the liquid from the porcinis and enough water to make 2 1/2 cups.

-After 50 minutes, add barley and chopped porcinis to the soup and stir. Turn heat to medium and cook for a few minutes. Add lemon juice, cream and correct seasoning with salt and pepper.

TO SERVE: Scoop a bowlful and eat with crusty bread!

TO STORE: Keep covered in the fridge for up to a week!

Tags: soup, mushroom barley soup, mushrooms, porcinis, barley


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