Hearty Mushroom-Barley Soup…Moosewood Style

The first thing I want to report in this entry is that I love—LOVE!!!—the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY.  For years I have used and featured recipes from the various Moosewood cookbooks; one of my all-time favorites is Moosewood Celebrates.  It is chock full of holiday-specific recipes for just about as many holidays that you can imagine.

And this being the coldest part of the coldest winter in my memory, I thought I’d cook my go-to meal for a winter Sunday evening. P1100054

Soup.

You all know of my affinity for soups. I love making soups—creamy soups, hearty soups, beefy soups, chickeny soups, veggie soups—there isn’t a soup I won’t try.

But this week, I’m turning back to what I know and love best:  Moosewood.

This recipe comes from the original book, The Moosewood Cookbook.  Compiled and written by Molly Katzen and published in 1977, The Moosewood Cookbook is a beautiful-to-look-at-and-read cookbook, with lovely pen-and-ink drawings instead of photographs, a typeface reminiscent of hand-written recipes, and one of the best collections of down-home vegetarian recipes that don’t scream VEGETARIAN!!!, but rather present tasty entries that a whole family can enjoy without feeling like they are eating nuts and twigs.  This is a soup I made a variation of at the gourmet store in Miami, and was one of our favorites.  Herewith, I present to you the Moosewood Restaurant version of one of our all-time faves:

THE MOOSEWOOD RESTAURANT MUSHROOM-BARLEY SOUP

Ingredients:

½ cup raw pearled barley

1 ½ cups water

5 cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons tamari

4 tablespoons dry sherry

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced fine

2 small-to-medium onions

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced white mushrooms

Preparation:

Cook the barley in 1 ½ cups water for 45 minutes at very low heat. Do it right in the soup pot.  Add the stock, tamari and sherry and continue to simmer.

Saute the onions and garlic in the butter slowly, until they begin to brown lightly and start to caramelize.  When they begin to soften, add the mushrooms and salt.  When the mushrooms are tender, add to the simmering soup.  Make sure to get all the liquid that is rendered by the onions and mushrooms.

Give the soup a generous grind of fresh black pepper  and simmer 20 minutes over the lowest possible heat.  Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve with fresh, warm, crusty bread.

I can’t begin to tell you just how wonderful this soup is; it’s reminiscent of the best French onion soup you’ve had, and so much more.  It’s fragrant and hearty; it’s thick enough to stick to your ribs in winter, and at the same time tasty enough to serve to company.  Try this one.  It’s an oldie but goodie, and not much has come across my table that is much better.

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About Cheffzilla

I'm a writer, corporate and business training consultant, adult educator, and trained chef. I'm retired from my professional career and now making my way in the world focusing on kindness. I want to learn something new every day.

Posted on January 19, 2014, in Appetizers, Soups and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you. I’m a chef and a food writer, but not so much a computer wizard. I’ll check out your recommndation.

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