Today’s guest post is from Crista at Peace. Love. Quinoa. Crista has been blogging since July this year, and it’s her aim to bring peace and health to her readers. Isn’t that a beautiful sentiment? Her blog is full of vibrant recipes and beautiful photographs. I’m really flattered that she (and all my other gorgeous guesties) would consider writing for my blog, to help me keep it going in this busy time. If you, like me, are busy and perhaps even a teeny bit flustered, go on over to Peace. Love. Quinoi. for a dose of tranquility. Warning: may increase appetite.
The arrival of autumn has me craving foods of the orange and green varieties; butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin, kale, zucchini, and broccoli. I yearn for comfort foods that warm the soul; soups, stews, and apple pie. It’s the time of year to divulge exotic seasonings that will take your soups, stews, and rices from bland and bleak to complex and flavorful.
Recently I’ve learned how easy it is to make your own vegetable broth: put all of your vegetable/fruit trimmings (I use the pulp from juicing) in to a large pot of water and boil for 15 minutes then strain out the pulp. Ta-da.
Considering that I’ve been juicing on a daily basis, I’ve made a fair amount of vegetable broth in the last few weeks. Even if you’re not juicing, it’s possible are you are cutting up fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Every batch of vegetable broth you make will taste slightly different than the next – it’s all dependent on the variety of fruits and veggies used to make it.
Enjoy one of my favorite soups, reminiscent of fall – bold colors of the kale and carrots in this soup bring pizzazz to the robust flavor of the barley and the earthy flavor of the mushrooms. This soup offers a robust autumnal aroma that makes the home feel cozy.
Every batch of this soup will be unique, no two batches will be the same, especially if you are making your own vegetable broth. In this “recipe” I am sharing, I have offered suggested seasonings and measurements. I highly suggest you take my recipe as inspiration and make this soup your own. I created this soup on “accident” pulling ingredients that I found in the kitchen. And as always, I recommend you read through the entire recipe and gather all of your ingredients prior to starting your preparations.
Mushroom Barley Soup
What you need:
- approx 8 cups of vegetable broth – make your own!!
- approx 1 1/2 cups of barley
- a variety of different mushrooms – you choose your variety: shittake, crimini, oyster, baby bella
- a few large handfuls of kale
- 1 large onion
- 2-3 large carrots
- 3 cloves of garlic
- a variety of spices: chili pepper flakes, cayenne, cumin, nutmeg, paprika, sea salt, pepper
What you do:
- In a large pot, boil 8 cups of vegetable broth and 1 1/2 cups of barley, immediately reduce to medium heat.
- Sautee your mushrooms, onions, carrots, and garlic in olive oil until the mushrooms and onions have softened up – approx 5-8 minutes.
- After sauteeing, add your vegetable mixture to the barley broth. Your barley should only be a third of the way cooked by this time.
- Add the kale to the mixture.
- Simmer at a low temperature until the barley is fully cooked.
- Add a variety of spices to taste.
I would love to hear about how you have tweaked this recipe, please share in the comments section.
Thank you again Crista for this great recipe. I really love that you make your own stock, and that I now have a use for all those trimmings and peelings I create in my own kitchen. Mushroom soup is my absolute favourite but I’ve never had great success in making it – I think this could be a turning point for me.