Friday, December 11, 2009

Recipe Request--Mushroom Barley Soup

4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups sliced portabella mushrooms
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp minced garlic
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1.5 tsp dried herbes de provence
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 celery hearts, thinly sliced
2 white potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks (optional)
3/4 cup apple juice
1.5 tbsp tomato paste
about 4 quarts chicken stock or chicken broth
1.5 cups quick-cooking barley

Heat a large, heavy bottomed stock pot on medium high heat. Add butter and oil. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic, spices, and herbs. Sauté on medium high heat until very tender. Add celery and carrots (and potatoes, if using) and continue to sauté for about 3 minutes. Add apple juice to deglaze bottom of pot and stir until nearly evaporated. Add tomato paste, chicken stock and barley and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow barley and vegetables to cook until nice and tender. Stir soup often. Barley will thicken soup naturally. The more you stir, the more starch is released into the stock and the thicker the soup. If you find you need more liquid at the end (ie soup is too thick), add some water until desired thickness. Adjust seasoning if needed.

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