This was hearty and delicious entree soup. I look forward to eating more at a later date, and I suspect that it is one of those soups that gets better as it sits in the fridge. We shall see.
I got the idea to do this recipe from Bittman (again), but his recipe was frightfully boring and seemed to be missing some critical elements. I only ended up referencing it for mushroom weight and liquid volume suggestions, but was on my own for everything else.
Mushroom and Barley Soup:
7 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced and chopped
5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced and chopped
2 large or 3 medium carrots, diced
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
The usable parts of 1 leek, sliced
3/4 cup pearled barley
6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 to 1 cup red wine
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 thyme sprigs (use only the leaves)
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Prepare all your ingredients.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add all the vegetables and cook between 5-10 minutes, letting them soften a bit and pick up some color if possible. Add the barley and cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and wine and cook until the wine has evaporated.
Add in the other herbs and the vegetable stock and bring up to a boil. Reduce to a low boil and cook until the barley is soft, between 30 and 40 minutes.