Have I ever mentioned that I really like soup? Pair it up with some homemade bread, and it’s basically the perfect comfort food. Warm, homey, slurpable, etc. Perfect, really.
Anyway, I had my husband pick me up some mushrooms at the store a week ago but then I forgot what I was planning to do with them, so the poor fungal bastards were just languishing in the fridge. In desperation, I decided to chuck them in a soup before they went totally bad and my husband gave me that “you’ve-been-wasting-produce-again-haven’t-you” look.
You know the one.
It was awesome! I mean, mushroom and barley soup, right? It’s a classic. I went for a pretty quick-and-easy version, with quick pearl barley and just one kind of mushroom. The quick-cooking barley didn’t hurt it at all, and I thought that roasting half the mushrooms while everything else cooked really boosted the flavor.
My husband liked it, too, but the kids were torn. My daughter only ate the barley, and my son only ate the mushrooms. So I guess I’d call that a win, maybe?
Use whatever kind of broth you want. I used Better than Bouillon’s no-beef base, but I’ve done it before with vegetable stock too.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme, divided
- 1 pound crimini or “baby bella” mushrooms, divided
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3-4 carrots, sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 cups broth or water plus bouillon
- 1 cup quick-cooking pearl barley
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- While the oven is heating up, quarter half the package of mushrooms and toss them with two tablespoons of olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread the quartered mushrooms on a baking sheet and put them in the oven for fifteen minutes or so, until they’re nicely browned and flavorful.
- While the quartered mushrooms are roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or dutch oven and cook the onion, carrots, garlic, remaining ¼ teaspoon thyme, and bay leaf until the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
- Slice the mushrooms and add them to the pot. Cook until completely tender, about another 5-10 minutes.