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Mushroom Barley Soup Done Right


I know what you are thinking. Really? Mushroom Barley? Hold it, hold it. This is no ordinary Mushroom Barley Soup. This is Mushroom Barley Soup, done right. This is the kind of soup that will sit in my freezer all winter long, divided into small portions, so that Child A will be able to have some any time she wants, without having to wait too long for it to defrost. It’s the perfect Motza’ei Shabbos, Erev Shabbos, before supper is ready, once supper is done, after homework, before bedtime, Sunday lunch, anytime really kinda soul food. Yes. Now you understand.


Prepare the Soup

1. Place carrots and parsnips into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Pulse a few times until vegetables are coarsely chopped (but don’t let it run too long; you want small pieces, not puréed vegetables).
2. Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic; sauté onions until translucent. Add chopped carrots and parsnips, knob celery, zucchini, squash, celery, and mushrooms; sauté a few minutes longer.
3. Add barley and spices. Cover with water; bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add flour; stir. Cook soup for about one and half hours, or until barley is tender.
4. Add tomato sauce; stir to combine. Taste; adjust seasoning. Serve hot.

Notes: Why the tomato sauce, you might ask? In the Butternut Squash Soup as well as in the Mushroom Barley Soup, I end by adding a can of tomato sauce. It’s a trick I learned from my mother-in-law (told you, grandmothers always know). Tomato sauce will add depth and acidity, taking the natural vegetable flavor to the max. This is a trick that will help you avoid using MSG-laden additives. Besides, it’s the Italian in me. We add tomato sauce to practically anything.


Reproduced from Our Table by Renee Muller, with permission from the copyright holders ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications, LTD.