Although quick and easy to prepare, this soup is loaded with nutrition and will keep you full until your next meal. The thyme paired with wild mushrooms provides a delicious earthy flavour. If you are following a gluten-free diet, buckwheat groats or kasha are good substitutes for barely. They cook just as quickly too!
The below recipe makes 2-3 meal-sized servings.
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- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 small sweet potato, chopped into small cubes
- 1-2 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 cups chopped mixed wild mushrooms (eg. cremini, chanterelles, morels, lobster, porcini, shiitake, oyster)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup whole grain barley, soaked
- 1L (4 cups) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp dry sherry – optional
- 1 cup lentils, cooked
*Soak barley in 1 cup of water for every 1/2 cup of the grain and drain it before using. This reduces cooking time.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot
- Cook onion, garlic, carrots, sweet potato, celery, and mushrooms until softened, about 5 minutes
- Add dried herbs, barley, broth and sherry
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until barley is tender
- Stir in cooked lentils
- Garnish with fresh cilantro
Hulled/whole grain barley has only the outer husk (hull) removed. It is the most nutritious barley because the bran and germ layers are intact. Rich in fibre and nutrients, hulled barley takes 55-60 minutes to cook, unless soaked overnight. Pot barley has been polished, removing some of the bran and the germ. It takes about 40-45 minutes to cook. Pearl barley is polished (pearled) to remove the outer hull and bran layers. This makes a faster cooking barley at 30-45 minutes. Quick-cooking barley is pearl barley that has been steamed and dried so that it cooks more quickly at about 15-20 minutes. The nutritional value is the same as the pearl barley.
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