This classic mushroom-barley soup is a staple dish in my home. It was posted by the wonderful vegan cookbook author, Nava Atlas, on December 19, 2010 on her website and has been a favorite of my family’s ever since!! If it gets the seal of approval from my sons and my father-in-law (who wants me to bottle it despite the fact that I keep telling him it’s not my recipe), then I can assure you it’s amazing!!! Nava Atlas describes this soup as a “warming winter soup” but, in my home, it’s a soup for all seasons!!! The recipe is posted below. Please note that I use 10 cups of water where indicated (as opposed to Nava’s 6 cups) and that I am partial to the vegan bouillon cubes by the “Rapunzel” brand. I also prefer the brand “Spike” as an all-purpose seasoning blend as opposed to any others.
CLASSIC MUSHROOM-BARLEY SOUP
Serves: 6 to 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large celery stalks, finely chopped
1 large carrot, diced
3/4 cup raw pearl barley
2 bay leaves
2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning blend (such as Spike or Mrs. Dash)
10 to 12 ounces mushrooms, any variety, sliced (see note)
2 cups rice milk, or more or less as needed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until golden.
Add 6 cups water, followed by the celery, carrot, barley, bay leaves, bouillon cubes, and seasoning blend. Bring to a gentle boil, then cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until the barley and vegetables are tender. Stir in enough rice milk to give the soup a slightly thick consistency. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley and dill.
Allow the soup to stand for 30 minutes off the heat before serving. The soup thickens quite a bit if it is refrigerated. Add more rice milk as needed and adjust the seasonings; heat through as needed.
NOTE: Use any of white, baby bella, cremini, shiitake, or oyster mushrooms, or a combination.
I strongly urge everyone to try this recipe as it never disappoints!!! If it’s a favorite of my royal family, then it will be a favorite of yours too!!!