I apologize for the radio silence. That certainly was not my intention. Truth be told, I missed you like mad, but was knocked out by a horrible cold. Sick as a dog. And while I am aware most people claim to be regular healthy folk, it’s pretty true for me. It is not often I find myself sick.
However, I rallied as best I could. We had guests in town who were staying with us. I made them meals and washed my hands a lot. A lot. We also had the bright idea of re-tiling the bathroom floor during this time period. It looks lovely now, but pregnancy and a nonworking bathroom are not a fabulous combination. I’m certain you are aware of this already, but we learned this valuable lesson the hard way. I’m just thankful for the nearby Home Depot Store and my gym membership. Three cheers for public bathrooms and convenient places to shower.
When the dust cleared and the house guests were gone, I was still under the weather. I found that all I wanted was a steamy bowl of healing soup. And, yes, I do believe soup has healing powers. Or, I suppose just a bit of warm broth can often be enough to convince me I am on the road to recovery.
But what to make? There are thousands of different types of soup out there. Each one is tasty and forgiving in the sense that it can be altered and adjusted according to the season and your real or imagined medicinal needs. Really, it just has to be warm and flavorful.
Need I say more? They are gorgeous. Earthy and rich. Once I set my eyes on these freshly foraged chanterelle mushrooms at my local market, I knew they were going to be at the heart of my soup. And I was not sorry. This wild mushroom soup came together beautifully with deep flavor and a good helping of barley for a toothsome bite.
Are you unwell? I certainly hope not. If you are under the weather, however, make this soup. I cannot guarantee it will heal you as my legal background inhibits me from making such audacious statements. I can only promise a lovely soup to warm you up inside and, just possibly, set you on the road to recovery.
I do recommend you make a wild mushroom soup today whether you are sick or a picture a health. These lovely mushrooms won’t be around at your local farmer’s market much longer. But if you can’t find chanterelle mushrooms, do not be discouraged. Any fresh seasonal mushroom will do. You can get creative here with no ill consequence. Making homemade soup is just that easy.
Mixed Mushroom Soup
1 oz. dried mixed mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. fresh thyme (minced)
1 large yellow onion, finely diced (about 2 cups)
1 large carrot, finely sliced (about 1/2 cup)
4 cups mixed fresh mushrooms, finely sliced (I used 2 cups crimini and 2 cups chanterelle)
1 cup pearl barley
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tblsp. fresh parsley (minced) (optional)
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Leave to sit in the water about 20 minutes. Do not discard the water.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook briefly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the thyme and onions and cook until the onions are soft, about 8-10 minutes. Add the dried mushrooms, reserved mushroom liquid, and fresh mushrooms. Cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the stock, pearl barley, and carrots. Bring to a boil before lowering the heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, for one hour. Season with salt and pepper. Top with fresh parsley.
* I also topped off the soup as a leftover with high protein Greek yogurt, which is a great substitute for sour cream.