The D.C. area got the its first snow fall of the winter this past weekend. It wasn’t much – less than an inch of accumulation that has already melted away. But it was preceded by a week of the coldest weather we’ve experienced, with temperatures in the teens after months of whether between 40 and 60 degrees. This may not seem very cold to some of our readers, especially those of you in Canada, but for me it felt like I had been frozen solid for the week with little chance of thawing. That kind of feeling can only be solved by one thing – steaming, hearty, homemade soup.
Luckily, I already had the ingredients in the house for a version of a soup I had added to my Pinterest board a few weeks back. The hot and sour mushroom barley soup was part of a collection of $10 meals on one of the blogs I read. My version of the soup is a bit more than $10, as I added a second mushroom type, but I also did not add the cilantro or the lime at the end. I also saved a little money by using ground turmeric instead of fresh ginger. Finally, feel free to substitute a mushroom broth, like this one, for the beef broth if you want a vegetarian soup.
Mushroom and Barley Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
2-3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
.5-1 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
8 ounce package white mushrooms
6 ounce package Shitake mushrooms
3/4 cup pearl barley
3 cups beef broth
2 cups water
3 heads baby bok choy
1) Begin by prepping your ingredients. Finely dice your onion and garlic cloves. Cut the button mushroom into quarters or sixths, depending on their size and cut the Shitake mushrooms in to comparable pieces. SLice the bok choy into ½-inch pieces.
2) Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat and saute the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, and tumeric. Cook until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid. If they begin to stick to the bottom of your pot, add a few tablespoons water. Continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes.
3) Add the barley and saute for 1 minute. Add the beef broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for 30-40 minutes.
4) Taste test the soup and add more salt or pepper as necessary. Add the bok choy, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes.