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.

About Lancaster Food Styles

Lancaster Food Styles highlights the best resources our community has to offer. From farmers to markets to vendors to retailers, we highlight those members of our wonderful food community who are striving to improve the presence of the commercial and retail food industry for all the citizens of Lancaster. The food we eat and drink is important to every single one of us, and we believe that everyone is entitled to safe and healthy food and drink. We hope to engage the citizens of our city and county who care about the food we eat and the environment in which we live. We know there are many people in the community who are doing wonderful things that benefit the people of Lancaster, as customers and consumers. We hope you will let us know who they are so that we can learn and inform those who eat and drink. That, as we know, is all of us. We are all in this together. Let's build a community.

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

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