Sunday, September 22, 2013

Soup #36 / Mushroom, Barley, & Kale Soup


So, I mentioned in my last post that it's been hotter than Hades around here. Thankfully, I think LA is starting to get the memo that today is the first day of fall. Yesterday we had an overcast morning and all E and I wanted to do was snuggle up with a cup of tea and watch movies. Of course, that didn't happen, but I at least a soup was created and now I can get back on the band wagon with you all about it. This recipe is a spin off this one from my mom's blog, and it was a soup-er success. Wow... I just did that.

What you will need:
8 cups of chicken broth (plus another 4 to add if you like a more brothy soup)
1 8-oz carton of sliced mushrooms
about 15 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tbs olive or grapeseed oil
1/2 cup of white wine
1/3 cup of pearl barley
1 bunch on kale, coarsely chopped with the thick veins removed
Salt and Pepper to taste
How to make it:
In a large soup pot, add your 8 cups of broth and you barley. Place on medium-low heat with the lid on and allow to cook for about 20-30 minutes, or until the barley is soft.

In a pan, add you 2 tbsp of oil and heat on medium-high heat. Add your mushrooms and saute them until they are brown and soft all over, about 5-10 minutes. Add in the sliced garlic and continue to saute. You want the garlic to start to leave a brownish residue on the pan as it continues to cook out the water. When the garlic and mushrooms are tender and you have a brownish residue, add in your white wine.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape off the brown residue and stir it in with the mushroom and garlic mixture. Continue stirring and allow the mushrooms and garlic to cook until the white wine has mostly reduced out. Turn off your heat.

When your barley is ready, add your mushroom and garlic mixture to the soup pot. Continue to cook for about 10-20 minutes, allowing the barley to continue to fluff out and the flavors to marry well. Add in the kale and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the kale has softened. Add salt and peeper to taste. Serve and enjoy!

Side note: If your barley has fluffed out majorly and you prefer a more brothy soup, add in some more broth when you mix the mushroom and garlic in to the soup. Allow it to all cook together. This will give you more broth and stretch your soup if you need to feed more than 3-4 people.

The verdict:
Being totally honest, it's been a while since I made soup. It's not that I've just made them and forgot to get them posted... we've really been slacking. This was the perfect soup to get us back in the game.  It's hearty and tasty and light and the flavors remind you of why you love soup in the first place.  This one was a success. We cooked it at home and took it over to E's grandma, sister and uncle for dinner along with some grilled chicken. It was a healthy and satisfying dinner and everyone enjoyed it.

What we'd do differently:
If I was making this soup again just for E and I, I wouldn't add the extra 4 cups of broth. Our soup looked super tasty and had a good balance when we first made it, but we needed it to stretch for dinner for 5, so we added more broth, which really diluted it down. If you're making it for more people and adding the extra broth in there, I would try adding a 1/2 cup or maybe...MAYBE...3/4 cup of barley, depending on how much you want in your soup. It really fluffs up and takes over, so use caution. But we diluted ours a bit much and I think we could have thrown in a bit more barely for everyone.