Lentil & Barley Soup with Mushrooms

Lovely recipe from Big Girl, Small Kitchen. Great winter soup. 🙂

  • ½ ounce dried mushrooms–[I used porcini but use whatever kind you like– the original recipe used shitake]
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into half moons
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • Salt
  • 1 quart good-quality beef broth
  • ½ cup black or green lentils [I used black]
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • Parsley, for garnish
  1. Place the mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl. Pour 2 cups boiling water over the mushrooms. Set aside and let soak 30 minutes, while you start the soup.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Film the bottom with oil and add the onion, leek, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the veggies are translucent. Add the garlic and barley, and cook to toast, 2 to 3 minutes. Season well with salt. Add the beef broth and 1 cup water. Bring the soup a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add the lentils. At this point, the mushrooms should have soaked for 30 minutes, so drain off the water into the bowl and set the mushrooms aside. [The recipe’s author doesn’t clarify what to do with the water you rehydrated the mushrooms in. I added some of this to the soup to give it a stronger mushroom taste.]
  3. Return the soup to a boil, then continue to simmer another 25 minutes, until the soup is thickened. Chop up the mushrooms and add those to the soup. Cook 5 more minutes, then taste to make sure the barley and lentils are cooked: you want them to be tender and not at all chalky. If they’re ready, salt the soup to taste and stir in the vinegar. If not, cook until they are. When done, let soup rest for a few minutes to combine the flavors, then serve, garnished with parsley.
  4. You can definitely make this soup ahead of time. Store in the fridge and add a bit more water, if necessary, to thin the soup when you reheat it on the stove.

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