Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Soup's on...

Another good day for soup. Sundays are perfect for soup. Simmering on the stove, making the house smell so good, you just can't wait until dinner. Family dinner. We all manage to be home on Sunday evening. I tried a new Mushroom Barley recipe. I know the family loves the soups that have been in the family for years but sometimes you can't help but deviate. Just a little. This recipe called for potatoes. and milk. Not my grandma's recipe, not even close. Hers had flanken (short ribs) in it and no potatoes. A really good, hearty soup, but sometimes different is good. This was really good.

So I'm a little spur of the moment when it comes to cooking, I didn't bother to soak the pearl barley overnight. Yesterday I had never even heard of this recipe and had all intentions of ordering dinner in, as usual. So I didn't soak the barley, it has a nice chew to it, who wants mushy barley? Came out great. No soak. The only thing that suffered was my favorite potholders. They've been through plenty and this time, the heat was too much. I threw it on the ceran burner next to the pot, which was off.  By accident, but still hot, and boy, do those give off a nasty smell right before they start to simmer and smoke. Anyway, they're done. I have an endless supply of 9 volt batteries for the smoke alarm, by the way. 

This is the last time you'll be seeing these...


Back to the soup. Delicious. This one's a keeper. We loved the addition of potatoes. I added a splash of Sherry and some thyme to it while it was simmering. A big splash of Sherry, but that had nothing to do with the potholders!

Barley Soup with Porcini Mushrooms
Source: Food and Wine online, recipe by Daniela Seguso and Marika Seguso
Printable Recipe

2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms (2 cups)
2 cups warm milk
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 pound pearl barley (1 1/4 cups), soaked overnight and drained
3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a bowl, cover the porcini with the warm milk and let stand until softened, about 20 minutes. Rub the porcini in the milk to rinse off any grit, then coarsely chop them. Reserve the milk.

In a large saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 15 minutes. Add the porcini and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the stock, bay leaf and barley and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes, cover and simmer until the barley and potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the reserved milk, stopping when you reach the grit at the bottom. Simmer for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve, passing olive oil and Parmesan cheese at the table.

Make Ahead: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Add more stock when reheating if the soup is too thick.

MY NOTES: I added a small package of fresh button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced, sauteed in oil, with a very small, chopped shallot. Added it to the soup with the carrots, celery and onions. Also added a splash of Sherry and about a 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. I used baby Yukon Gold potatoes and didn't peel them, but cut them in quarters. Otherwise I pretty much followed the recipe. Except for soaking the barley. I didn't bother to soak but simmered for a longer time. And adding some extra stuff. So I didn't follow completely. Everything is adaptable. We loved the soup!

Joining Mary at the Little Red House for Mosaic Monday! Check out the other fabulous Mosaics over at the Little Red House.


  1. Your soup sounds delicious, as delicious as all of your other recipes.

  2. The porcini mushrooms give out a very special flavor. Poor pot holder, but there are old things that I treasure and keeping using it until they are worn out.

    Enjoy your dinner!

  3. You always have the most delicious sounding and looking recipes....I will need to make this one too!!!

  4. Mmmm, I can almost smell that beautiful soup. I'd rather not try to smell the potholders. lol Thanks for sharing at MM. :)

  5. What a delicious looking soup ... we love barley. Your sad-looking pot holders made me laugh ... sorry. ;)

    I'd definitely say they're DONE. I've burnt more than my share of them. For the cooktop, I now use leather ones that I bought online. They've held up well and since they're black, I can't tell if they're scorched or not. :)

  6. Soup sounds delicious Carol! Yup, time to toss those potholders :-)

  7. The soup sounds delicious and your picture is mouth-watering.
    Yes, do throw out those pot holders.

  8. Nothing is better than homemade soup on days like to day!

  9. Oh yum, love the splash of this and splash of that attitude! I don't ever soak things, I just cook for a longer time. :)

  10. Carol the Soup Nazi !!!

    Love soups and I would be more than willing to dive into this one also!! Thanks for the explanation of your flanken!

  11. Boy does that look good! I haven't had Pearl Barley Soup since Home Ec in High School! LOL Gonna have to try your recipe.Good weather for nice hot soup.

  12. You can never go wrong with a hearty soup like this on a cold day! I've forgotten to soak barley plenty of times and yet a little extra simmering will soften it up. I've also set my potholder on fire ..wooden spoons! It's the sign of a good cook! :-)
    Happy MM

  13. LOL great shot of your pot holders...

    Seems I have seen something like these along my adventures in cooking.

    Always sounds soooo yummy. I need to hire you to come cook for me. (ohh and win the lottery so i could pay you what you are worth!)

    Always great.


  14. Hi, I love soup. Any soup. It's really nice on a rainy and cold day. It is also nice when you are tire too. Great post.

  15. And here I was trying to organize a potholder intervention - not necessary!

  16. Another set of potholders bites the dust, or flames!

    This recipe sounds wonderful, Carol! I'm saving a copy for myself!

  17. Barley Soup looks fantastic!

    Btw, it reminds me, I've had a bag of barley from last year, still in the pantry.

    I think my barley and your pot holders deserve to be put to rest. R.I.P.

  18. The soup looks good but I love your honesty in showing your potholders. I know it's not funny but it does make me laugh :)


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