Hearty Mushroom-Barley Soup
- 3/4 cup barley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium-size celery stalks, sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 13 3/4- to 14 1/2-ounce cans beef broth
- 5 medium-size carrots, each cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- fresh sage or other herb for garnish
- In 3-quart saucepan over high heat, heat barley and 4 cups water to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Drain barley; set aside.
- Meanwhile, in 5-quart Dutch oven or saucepot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add celery and onion; cook 8 to 10 minutes until golden, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to high; add mushrooms and cook 10 to 12 minutes until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to medium-high; add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add beef broth, carrots, sherry, salt, barley, and 4 cups water; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 to 25 minutes until carrots and barley are tender. Garnish with fresh sage if you like.
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