Mushroom Barley Soup

I came home from work to the lovely smell of mushroom barley soup, simmering on the stove. We made this again the following weekend as a starter for a dinner party.

Servings: 6

2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1/2 large onion
2 cloves garlic
20 oz. white mushrooms
6 cups Chicken Stock

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup uncooked barley
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Prepare vegetables
Chop carrots and celery into a small dice (brunoise) and set aside. Chop onions finely and set aside with the other vegetables. Mince or crush the garlic and add to the vegetables. Clean mushrooms with a dry cloth and slice thinly, set aside separately from the other vegetables.

Saute vegetables
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Saute carrots, celery, onions, and garlic for 5 to 7 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for 3 minutes.

Simmer soup
Add stock and barley to the Dutch oven and stir. Increase heat to medium-high, cover partially and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until barley is tender, approximately 45 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper just before serving, adjust a needed. Serve warm with bread or crackers.

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