But this time its cream of mushroom soup with barley. I’ve made hundreds of soups in my day, I think this is the best. I probably could of eaten the whole pot! It was a little time consuming to make, but if you prepare, its really easy. I actually did it in steps, I made the barley and softened the porcini mushrooms before I went to my exercise class, then finished when I got home.
I bought yet another amazing item from “Aldi” a cast iron pot. It was on sale for $39.99 before Christmas, I was in the store yesterday and they had them for $22.99! An amazing deal. If you think you have enough pots and pans but you don’t have a cast iron, go get one! I made this yummy soup in mine and it turned out great!
Cream of Mushroom & Barley Soup
1/2 cup pearl barley
4 1/2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup minced shallots (about 4 medium)
8 cups sliced white mushrooms (about 20 oz) I used 1/2 white mushrooms and 1/2 cremini
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry sherry (don’t use “cooking sherry” get the real stuff)
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1. Bring barley and 1 1/2 cups broth to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine procinis and boiling water in a medium bowl and soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Line a sieve with paper towels, set it over a bowl and pour in mushrooms and soaking liquid. Reserve the soaking liquid. Transfer the mushrooms to a cutting board and finely chop. Set aside.
3. Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add white mushrooms and cook stirring often, until they start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the porcinis, celery, sage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook stirring until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minutes. Add sherry and cook, stirring until most of the sherry has evaporated, about 1 minute.
4. Add the soaking liquid and the remaining 3 cups broth; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup has thickened, 18 to 22 minutes.
5. Add the cooked barley and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the sour cream until incorporated.

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