Few meals really have that ‘warm you up from the inside’ quality other than a bowl of steaming soup. My ‘go-to’ quick and easy, hearty and satisfying soup is the Moosewood’s original Mushroom-Barley soup. I love it with loads of fresh ground pepper which works so well with the nuggets of swollen pearl barley – almost makes me long for a cold Winter night!
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
6 1/2 cups water
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. of sliced mushrooms
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 to 4 tablespoons dry sherry
freshly ground pepper
- Place the barley and 1 1/2 cups of water in a large saucepan or a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the barley is tender (20 to 30 minutes).
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is very tender ~ about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and sherry.
- Add the sauté with all its liquid to the cooked barley, along with the remaining 5 cups of water. Grind in a generous amount of black pepper, and simmer, partially covered, another 20 minutes over very low heat. Taste to correct seasonings, and serve.