The hubs is a big fan of Mushroom Barley Soup and Beef Barley Soup. Me, not so much. I don't like soups with beef in them. And I never did find a good recipe for Mushroom Barley soup that intrigued me.
He was really in the mood for it for dinner, so I found a recipe I thought sounded like something I'd enjoy and gave it a shot.
It was really good! Easy, tasty, hearty and good. A great winters night dinner or even a cool spring night.
We did freeze some as well and it has re-heated well too!
Mushroom Barley Soup recipe from Epicurious.com
1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms or other dried mushrooms such as porcini, morels, or chanterelles if desired
1 cup boiling-hot water if using dried mushrooms
6 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1/4 cup olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped fine
2 pounds white mushrooms, sliced thin
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup medium-dry Sherry
5 cups chicken broth
5 cups water
1 cup pearl barley
8 carrots, sliced diagonally 1/2 inch thick
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
In a small bowl soak dried mushrooms (if using) in the boiling water 20 minutes and transfer to a cutting board, reserving liquid. Discard stems of shiitake (if using) and slice mushrooms thin. Strain reserved liquid through a fine sieve lined with a dampened paper towel into another small bowl.
In a heavy kettle (at least 5 quarts) cook garlic in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until golden. Add onions and cook, stirring, until pale golden. Add white mushrooms, dried mushrooms (if using), and soy sauce and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Sherry and boil until evaporated.
Add broth, water, strained mushroom-soaking liquid, barley, carrots, and dried herbs to mushroom mixture and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Season soup with salt and pepper. Soup may be prepared up to this point 4 days ahead (cool uncovered before chilling covered.)
Just before serving, stir in parsley.