Summer kind of hung out for a couple of extra weeks and then without any warning, just skipped right out the door. I cannot even say Fall is here; it forgot to stop by. Winter seems to have arrived and brought it’s wet, gloomy, and soggy self right into our lives. Definitely, time to enjoy a big bowl of porcini barley soup.
I whipped up this batch of what soon became a delicious soup by using only a few things I had laying around the house – stock, onions, carrots, some fresh mushrooms and a gorgeous bag of porcini mushrooms. It was sort of like an “old mother Hubbard, when to the cupboard” sort of meal. In fact, our cupboards are so bare (will tell you why I am letting them get bare another day), that I am even on the brink of no olive oil and had to use my prized tea seed oil. This is a vegetarian based soup as well. Unfortunately, I find vegetable-based stocks rather bland but you add porcinis along with the rich, earthy broth that comes from soaking them, the soup takes on a whole other life. Balanced, dirty (“earthy but I like the word dirty) and deepen. Soup for the soul!
Before I go into the recipe, I am sure you are asking or wondering, what is tea seed oil? Tea seed oil is one of the greatest finds from Earthy Delights. It has the lowest level of saturated fats and is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, omega fatty acids and vitamin E. I love that it can be used at a high cooking heat as well, making it perfect for stir-frys.
Porcini Barley Soup
1 yellow onion, small mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tea tree oil (or olive oil)
3 carrots, scrubbed and cut into chunks
1 oz. porcinis
1/2 cup warm water
8 cups vegetable stock
1 lb. crimini mushrooms, sliced into medium slices
kosher salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon, white peppercorns
1 2/3 cup barley
Put the porcinis in a bowl with the warm water. Let sit for 30 minutes.
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, stir and lower the heat to low. Let the onions cook for 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, stir and let cook for 5 minutes.
Add the stock, the porcini with their broth, the garlic and half of the sliced mushrooms. Bring to a low boil, season with salt and add the pepper.
Lower the heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Add the barley, stir, keep on low heat.
Cover and cook until barley is cooked about 45 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, stir in the rest of the mushrooms.