Here’s one for the sunny but cold days in the middle of winter. The barley and mushroom should give it a good winter earthiness. The lemon, leek, and garlic should give it a sunshine-y brightness. As spring gets closer, try it with peas and/or asparagus.
- 2 leeks, white parts and a little of the green, rinsed and chopped
- garlic (you know how much you like to add)
- 16 oz of mushrooms (cremini, button, portabello, whatever you like), chopped
- 1 cup of barley (hulled is better than pearl)
- 4 Tsbp butter
- 1 Tsbp dried rosemary or thyme
- 1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
- veggie stock
- 1 bunch of kale, rinsed, central rib removed, and sliced thin
- zest and juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- optionally, 1/4 C of vermouth
Sweat the leeks in butter over low heat until soft, maybe 8 minutes
Add the garlic for 1 minute, until it gets fragrant
Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Bump up the heat, stirring often, until they start to release their liquid. Give it maybe 5 minutes, maybe 10. The mushrooms will cook down and shrivel up; if you like your mushrooms softer, cook for longer.
If you’re using vermouth, pour it in now, along with the herbs. Let the vermouth heat up and steam away for 3 or 4 minutes, and stir the mushrooms to scrape up any stuck on bits.
Add in the barley, tomatoes (with their liquid), and enough stock to cover everything about 2″ deep. You’ll be adding more stock as it simmers, since the barley will expand quite a bit. You know how liquidy you want your soup to be — more like a stew or more brothy. It’s your call.
Simmer it for an 30-60 minutes or so, until the barley is chewy but chewable. This will be faster if you use pearl barley than if you use hulled barley.
At the end, add in the kale, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and simmer it for another 3 minutes. The kale will wilt.
Eat this with sourdough.