Soups are great during winter. They are warm, comforting and nourishing. Exactly what our body needs. I love soups, and I was craving grains after childbirth. May be normal since I needed extra energy and comfort. Barley is a grain that is usually eaten during fall and winter. It’s a warming grain. It does contain gluten, although I don’t really mind since I’m not intolerant and since I don’t eat gluten very often. Some whole grains contain gluten, and some don’t. The thing to remember with grains is that, if you can tolerate them of course, is that they are very warming and comforting, and are a great source of B vitamins, which are our anti-stress vitamins. There are pros and cons with grains. I’m not an anti-gluten or anti-grain person, but they aren’t part of my daily diet. And when I eat them, they are mostly eaten in their whole form. You still have to live and enjoy life too, I believe.
So anyway, the soup is made with pearl barley (pearl barley is not a whole grain, though), mixed fresh and dried mushrooms, as well as vegetables and seasonings. It’s very easy to make and it’s absolutely delicious, especially if you love mushrooms. It’s a perfect soup for a chilly day. It’s vegan but it’s NOT gluten-free.
I hope you like it!
- 2 +2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups sliced celery
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 2 cups cremini or mixed mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup dried mushrooms for stock, then slice and add into soups
- 1 ¼ cup pearl barley
- 12 cups mushroom broth (infused ½ cup dried mushrooms with 12 cups water) - you could always buy it too
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Make mushroom stock: In a large pot soup, add dried mushrooms and 12 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 1-2hr. Strain to separate liquid form mushrooms. Slice mushrooms and set aside.
- In a large pot soup, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add onions and sauté for a few minutes until fragrant and translucent. Add garlic. Sauté for another two minutes.
- Stir in the barley and bay leaf. Add carrots, celery and mushroom broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and let simmer, uncovered, for about 2 hours or until the barley is cooked.
- While the soup simmers, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add dried and fresh mushrooms. Sear the mushrooms until slightly brown. Add mushrooms into the soup pot.
- When the soup is ready, taste, adjust seasonings to taste and serve.