Saturday, September 22, 2012

Soup for You

The cooler weather has definitely started to creep it's way into our weekly forecast and I have to admit, I really don't mind! I LIVEEEE for this time of year - my absolute favorite favorite favorite season.  Carl and I have started a variety of fall traditions and they are some of the things that I look forward to year round.

What I also love about this time of year is the return of heartier meals and COMFORT FOOD - oh how I love you!  Apples, Pumpkins, Mac+Cheese, Squash, Beef Stew, Chicken and Dumplings, Pot Pie, Baked Chicken, Pot Roast, Grandma Hoffmeister's Famous Brisket, Soup galore - ahhhh the list goes on and on (and on)!

A few weeks ago, I got to thinking about this delicious beef and barley soup that our friends Ty and Mandy had made for us a few years ago.  She rendered the beef in some duck fat to start and it was absolutely divine.  So scrumptious that I am still thinking about it over 2 years later!

I love soup with barley in it but for some reason I have always been a little scared of attempting it myself.  I happen to see it on sale last week and decided to give it a go.  Here is the delicious result that I am sharing with you today and will be adding to our stockpile of go-to soups from now on.  I took a bit of a lighter approach and used some leftover chicken but I'm sure beef (or beef rendered in duck fat) would be just as tasty.

Enjoy!



Portobello Mushroom Soup with Barley and Chicken

Makes 6-8 servings

1/2 cup pearl barley
4 cups water
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
16oz sliced portobello mushrooms
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth/stock
1 tsp chicken base or 1 chicken bouillon cube
1 cup chopped chicken
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 heaping tsp fresh thyme (removed from stem)
2 tbsp lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine barley and water in a large saucepan (soup pot) and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 40 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, celery, garlic, carrots and portobello mushrooms.  Saute for 10-12 minutes until translucent and soft.

Add chicken broth/stock, chicken base/bouillon, parsley, thyme and lemon juice to the large saucepan with barley.  Add the cooked vegetables and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add chopped chicken and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

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PS:  Billie Hester - I am still waiting to hear from you regarding your winning prize from this post.  If I don't hear back from you in the next few days I will be picking a new winner!
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