I think with the way this week has been going, we are all in need of a little extra comfort.
Whether it be from holding those we love close or from a nice, warm bowl of soup.
And nothing says comfort like a satisfying, creamy soup with tender barley and savory mushrooms.
Besides being incredibly tasty, it is also full of Vitamin D from the mushrooms and milk; not to mention loads of other healthy vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from the veggies and barley.
Who says eating healthy can’t taste good?
Creamy Mushroom & Barley Soup
Inspired by Whole Foods Market
- 1 cup pearl barley, uncooked
- 1 ounce dried mushrooms (I used Porcini) + 1 cup hot water
- 2 cups diced baby portobello mushrooms
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups fat-free milk
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced (approx. 1.5 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf
Makes approximately 4 servings
To start, bring 1 and 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add the barley and reduce to a simmer to cook for 15 to 20 minutes**.
**My cooking time is shortened because I soaked the barley overnight in 2 cups water and then drained it before cooking. If you don’t want to soak the barley, you will need to cook it in 2 cups water for about 35 to 45 minutes.
For the dried mushrooms, I used Porcini, but you could use any kind that you are able to find.
Add the dried mushrooms to one cup hot water in a small bowl and allow to soak for at least 20 minutes.
While they’re soaking, warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the garlic and onions for about three or four minutes, until translucent.
Toss in the chopped kale and carrots and continue to sauté for about five more minutes.
Then add the diced mushrooms along with the 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper and sauté for another five minutes.
Once the dried mushrooms are done soaking, you will need to separate them from the liquid in the bowl, which will yield about 1/2 cup liquid.
After picking out any hard pieces from the soaked mushrooms, chop them up and add them to the pot.
Then add the bay leaf and pour in the 1/2 cup mushroom liquid, 4 cups vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 2 cups milk while stirring well to combine.
Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes and then add in the cooked barley.
Continue to simmer for at least 5 more minutes or until you are ready to serve.
Then sit down and allow the savory scent to waft (yes, I said waft) into your nose.
This soup is so good, it will definitely keep you coming back for more!
Speaking of soup, a cold front came in on Monday out of nowhere! The incredible weather we had over the weekend is gone by I have a feeling it will be back soon.
A few links of possible interest:
Are you still having soup weather where you are?
What’s your favorite comfort meal?