Updated: Jan 21
This makes for perfect winter soup, best served at lunch, as the barley will provide slow-release energy throughout the remainder of the day. I like to refer to barley as “lunch time oats.”
½ cup dried mushrooms
¾ cup hot water
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2–3 carrots, chopped
¾ cup pearl barley
¾ cup dry brown lentils, rinsed
3–3½ cups beef broth or vegetable stock
5–6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
Pinch of salt
4 cups sliced mushroom medley (button, shiitake, cremini, etc.)
1 cup coarsely chopped Swiss chard or spinach
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Soak dried mushrooms in hot water for 45–60 minutes.
Drain, reserving liquid, and chop soaked mushrooms.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, with a pinch of salt. Cook and stir until onions are soft, about 5–6 minutes.
Mix in the celery and carrot. Cook for another 3–4 minutes.
Add mushroom liquid, stir for 2–3 minutes.
Stir in the soaked mushrooms, barley and lentils so they are coated. Continue to cook and stir for about 3–4 minutes.
Add black pepper, thyme, pepper and the bay leaf. Pour in the stock, increase heat slightly and bring to a boil.
Add mushroom medley, cover and simmer on medium low for 20–25 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, add Swiss chard, cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until mushrooms have softened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in vinegar and serve warm. Enjoy!