Monday, February 8, 2010

Dark Days - Week 12: Mushroom Spelt Soup + Winter Buyers Co-op - Week 1

Hmmm... note to self: spelt is a poor substitute for pearled barley when making soup.  The yummy creaminess that you would get in a mushroom barley soup was just not achieved with this soup.  But I had local spelt, and I didn't have local barley - and so it goes.

This recipe is from one of my favorite cook books: The new American plate cookbook: recipes for a healthy weight and a healthy life by American Institute for Cancer Research.

I forgot to take pictures since the camera was in the other room from taking so many photos of the snow (24 inches more than we normally get).  So you will get snow pictures with this food post!

Mushroom & Barley Soup (find yourself some local barley and make this yourself!)
(check out AICR's website for more great recipes)
1 TBS canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained (I used spelt, which I soaked for 4 hrs in hot water first)
6 cups fat-free, reduced sodium veg broth (I used leftover homemade chicken and beef broths from my freezer)
5 cups chopped button mushrooms (about 3/4 pound)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (not local)
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
salt, pepper, cayenne

In a large soup pot (I used a dutch oven), heat half the oil over med. heat.  Add onion and celery and saute for 3 min.  Add barley and stir constantly for 2 min. Add 4 cups of the broth and bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, simmer for 40 minutes.

Then, heat the remaining oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat and saute the mushrooms for 6 minutes.  The recipe says stir constantly, but this causes the mushrooms to leak all their moisture so I didn't stir very much.  Add Worcestershire and stir for one minute.  Remove mushrooms from heat, add in carrots and set aside.

Once 40 minutes is up, add the mushroom carrot mixture to the soup along with the remaining 2 cups broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, simmer for 30minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.

I didn't realize how vital the pearl barley is to the overall texture and taste of this soup.  We each ate a bowl, but I took the remains and blended half of them in my magic bullet to try and get a creamier base for the leftovers.  Hoping that will help.

The mushrooms and onions were from our Winter Buyers Co-op Share - which started this week.  So exciting! I did remember to take a picture of that, so here it is:

Mushrooms, onions, potatoes, grapefruit, apple cider and ground bison.  All seasonal, all local except for the citrus.  All farmed more sustainably (is that a word?) than most...  Cheryl does a really good job at sourcing her products.  Due to the storm she has extended the deadline to buy into the Winter Buyer's Co-op through Saturday, February13th, so if you're local and interested, go in and sign up!  (We got the full 6-item share with meat and dairy.  There is also a veggie share with 4 items for less.)

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