Mushroom, Bean and Barley Soup
This is comfort food in its finest hour
1/2 oz. imported dried mushrooms
4 tablespoons margarine
2 garlic cloves, minced
l cup minced onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup lima beans
2 quarts hot chicken bouillon or water
salt, pepper to taste, 2 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
The night or a few hours before: Soak mushrooms in approximately 1/2 water. Do not discard liquid.
In a Dutch oven, melt the margarine and sauté the garlic, onion, celery and carrots until lightly browned and softened. Stir in the bouillon, if using, or water, barley, lima beans, salt, pepper, and parsley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally until beans are cooked (3-4 hours). Adjust seasonings, and add water if soup has thickened too much. Note: You may have to add more water later and spices if soup thickens after being refrigerated as well. Reheat soup on low heat as it tends to scorch cooked over too high heat.