Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mushroom and Barley Soup

I've adapted this soup recipe from another of my favorite healthy-foodie sources, the Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Although I've subscribed to the hard copy for years, you can also find a lot of good health related info on their website.

This soup fits my ideal for virtually all my cooking, or at least my everyday cooking: the result is so tasty that you lap up every spoonful, and you don't feel guilty about it because the ingredients are so healthy.

Recipe: Mushroom, Barley and Pasta Soup
Serves 4


1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
8 ounces mushrooms (baby bella, preferably), sliced
3/4 cup pearl barley
1 teaspoon liquid smoke seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup pasta shells or rotini
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil over low heat in a large saucepan. Add onion, garlic and carrots. Stir frequently until veggies are tender, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, barley, liquid smoke, salt, thyme and water. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce to low heat again and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add pasta, cover again, and cook until the pasta is done, about 10 minutes.
Pass the cheese at the table.

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