Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup

Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup

(serves 4)

Barley lovers… here is your soup!

3    dried shitake mushrooms or 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1    cup boiling water
1     medium leek, cleaned and chopped fine
2     Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1      clove garlic, minced
2     carrots, chopped
½    cup celery, chopped
1/3  cup uncooked barley
4      cups water
2      bay leaves
1       tsp. sea salt
½    cup fresh or frozen corn
2      Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
2      Tbs fresh dill, chopped
¼    tsp black pepper or more to taste

Optional: Add ¼ cup cooked lentils or seitan (called wheat meat) pieces or ½ tsp wakame flakes sea vegetable. Can all be added the last 10 minutes of cooking.

  1. Presoak dried shitake mushrooms to 1 cup boiling water for 20 minutes, put aside. To clean leeks, cut across the leek where the white and green parts meet.  Keep top and bottoms separate. Cut down the white part lengthwise and rinse thoroughly, making sure to separate the leaves. Cut down again lengthwise and then chop crosswise into ½” pieces.  For the green upper part, discard old, tough outer leaves until you get to the tenderest green leaves.  Chop as you did the white part and keep separated from white bottoms for now.
  2. Preheat oil in pot and sauté onion, garlic and chopped white leeks for 3 minutes on med heat.  Add carrots, celery and sea salt. Sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  3. Remove and squeeze shitake mushrooms. Cut off and discard the stems and slice the caps thin.  Add to soup with the soaking water and move on to next step. Or add sliced fresh mushrooms if using.
  4. Rinse and drain barley.  Add barley, water, bay leaves and salt to vegetables, cover, and cook for 45 minutes or until barley is tender.  Add corn and tops of leeks, and cook for another few minutes. Add salt, parsley, and dill and black pepper and simmer for 5 minutes wakame flakes if using. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Bites of Insight: Wakame is a light, tender seaweed that can add minerals to any dish. Easily found in health food stores or in Asian markets.

 

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