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Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup
Just when I thought summer was almost here, the weather network announced temperatures reaching below 0° Celsius and snow, so, we took advantage of the cold weather and we decided to make a hearty soup. I love vegetarian soups, not because I am a vegetarian but because they make a great starter soup before a meat entrée. This soup has a very meaty texture and flavour thanks to the mushrooms and it would make a great vegetarian main course for lunch or supper. This soup is good if not better the next day.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb. crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Heat half of the olive oil in a large pot over high heat, brown the mushrooms and place them in a bowl. In the same pot, melt the butter and cook the celery, onion and carrots, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, add the garlic, stock or water and the bay leaf. Return the mushrooms to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, add the pearl barley and simmer until the vegetables are tender and barley is cooked. You might need to adjust the consistency by adding more liquid as the barley absorbs quite a lot. Remove the bay leaf and serve hot with chopped parley.

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