Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mushroom Barley Soup

The full-bodied flavour is worth the longer cooking time. Keep a container or two of this soup in the freezer, as it freezes well. The barley and vegetables offer a potent cholesterol-lowering punch, while the mushrooms off anti-cancer action, making this soup more than just delicious comfort food.

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 oz. dried mushrooms (such as porcini)
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large stalks celery, diced
1 parsnip, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup barley (preferably pot barley)
8 cups sodium-reduced beef, chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl, por boiling water over dried mushrooms; soak for 25 minutes. Remove mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid, and squeeze out excess water. Coarsely chop mushrooms and set aside. Strain soaking liquid through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or a coffee filter and set aside.

Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat; add onion and saute until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add celery, parsnip, carrots, soaked mushrooms and button mushrooms; saute another 5 minutes. Stir in barley, broth and reserved mushroom liquid. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, for about 1 1/2 hours or until barley is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 8 servings

PER SERVING NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Calories, 150, Protein: 10g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: less than 1g, Carbohydrate: 24g, Dietary Fibre: 5g

from The Enlightened Eaters Whole Foods Guide by Rosie Schwartz

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