Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner, I knew immediately we would love this soup. And we did!! She found it in the Chicago Tribune, and I remember my grandmother's sister always found the best recipes in the Tribune. This rated right up there at the top.
She made a few changes to the original, and I followed Pam's suggestions to the T. I know this soup will be made often. The only change I made was using the dried mushrooms I had on hand. Last fall I bought an 8 oz. container of gourmet mushroom blend at Costco. I have used it often and love the combination of mushrooms....morels, porcini, Brazilian caps, ivory portabella, shiitake and oyster mushrooms. They worked beautifully in this soup and this is a much less expensive way to buy dried mushrooms.
Mushroom and Barley Soup
from Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner
1 package (1 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms (I used about 1 cup of my mixed blend)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound button mushrooms (I used baby portabellas)
8 cups beef stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon McCormick's Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 cup pearl barley
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Sale and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley for garnish
Place dried mushrooms in a bowl. Cover with 2 cups of boiling water. Soak, submerged with a small plate for 20 minutes. Squeeze liquid from the mushrooms and reserve the water. Slice the mushrooms.
Slice the fresh mushrooms. Warm oil in a large soup pot and set over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes. Remove shallots mixture to a small bowl and set aside.
Add fresh mushrooms to the pot and cook until their liquid releases, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in shallot and garlic mixture, beef stock, thyme, reserved mushroom liquid and reconstituted mushrooms. Add Montreal Steak Seasoning and heat to a boil.
Stir in barley, reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, partially covered until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 5 minutes. Top with parsley and serve.
Be sure to have some great crusty bread to go along with this great soup. Thanks, Pam.
P.S. I just want to add a comment about the great job that blogger is doing keeping Spam off my blog. Today, it caught some foreign language trying to add a comment to my blog anonymously, 6 times. I do not have the extra security code on my comments as I feel it is a waste of time for those commenting and not necessary. Blogger does a great job all by itself. Thanks.