I hope you enjoy this heart warming and heart healthy mushroom barley soup. It’s a vegetarian soup that satisfies like a beef stew. The meaty texture of the mushrooms, chewiness of the barley and richness of the broth will convince any meat lover to go meatless, at least once this week.
Mushroom Barley Soup
- 1/4 cup sherry
- 2-3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 cup onion (chopped)
- 5 cups mushrooms, sliced (an assortment of shitake, baby bell, crimini, button)
- 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup barley*
- 1 tablespoon tamari or reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- salt and pepper to taste
“Saute” the garlic and onions in the sherry until the onions soften. Add mushrooms and continue to saute until mushrooms release their liquid and most of the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add broth, bring to a boil. Add barley then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for about 45 minutes. *If using Trader Joe’s 10 minute barley, you will only need to cook the barley for 10-15 minutes not 45 minutes.
Add the tamari or soy sauce and season the soup with nutmeg, dill, tarragon, salt and pepper. Cook for a few more minutes.
*For a cream soup, add 2/3 cup evaporated fat-free or 2% low-fat milk when you add the tamari.
Nutrition Note: Scientists are taking a growing interest in the potential health benefits of mushrooms. Compounds found in mushrooms (particularly mushrooms like shitake and oyster), may lower the risk of cancer by protecting DNA from damage. Mushrooms are very low in calories but rich in B vitamins, selenium and potassium. Did you know that exposing mushrooms to sunlight for 2 days (on your windowsill) will significantly increase the vitamin D content of the mushrooms.