I am sure I have said this before, I love a good soup in winter or just as the weather is turning cold. It warms you up from the inside and is an easy comfort food. I used to make a homemade tomato and potato soup with whatever I had on hand. My husband was not so fond of that soup, so as is usual for me, I wanted to venture out to find some soups that he would enjoy with me. We both like mushrooms, so that was a good place to start. I made this soup when he was away on a business trip, but when he returned he tried it, liked it and actually asked for it again later. It is based on the recipe in Homemade Winter by yvette van boven.
This soup starts with aromatics.
And they smell so good when you begin cooking (hence the name).
This is after adding the mushrooms before they have released their moisture.
Mushroom Barley Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 white or yellow onion
2 stalks celery, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
16-18 ounces mushrooms (I like crimini, but you can use white button or a mix), chopped
1/2 barley (or farro) (you can make with this rice to be gluten free)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until the onion starts to become brown. Add the garlic and fresh mushrooms. Stir frequently until the mushrooms release their moisture. Add the barley (or farro) and turn up the heat so the grain can absorb the liquid. Stir in tomato paste. Add the vegetable stock. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper and simmer over a low heat for about 35 minutes or until the barley (or farro) is tender.