Three Mushroom-Barley soup

This earthy soup made with three kinds of mushrooms makes a nice meal with salad and bread. Serves 6

½ cup pearl barley (not to be confused with Pearl Bailey)

5 cups broth Roz’s Jewish Chicken Soup (plus a vegan version)

1 Tb olive oil

2 medium cloves garlic

2 leeks, white and light green part only. (use the dark green parts to season the broth)

4 stalks celery

2 large carrots, peeled

2 lbs mushrooms, combine white and brown

2 fresh shiitake mushrooms

1 large bunch of oyster mushrooms

6 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 tsp salt to taste

1/4 to 1/2  tsp white pepper, depending on how peppery you like your soup

3 Tbs cooking sherry

optional: 2 chicken sausages.  I used Open Nature Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic

several grinds black pepper

Put barley and broth in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20-30 minutes. While barley is simmering, chop leeks, celery, carrots and garlic finely. I used a food processor. Heat olive oil in a heavy frying pan. Add vegetables and salt and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. grind the dried shiitake mushrooms coarsely in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder. Add them to the vegetables.

Trim the woody ends off the fresh mushroom stems, then slice mushrooms and stems. (I used the slicing disk of the food processor.) Sauté with vegetables another 5 minutes, then add to broth. If using sausages, cut in half lengthwise and then into rounds and add to soup. Simmer with sherry and white pepper for 30 minutes. Correct seasonings, adding several grinds black pepper. Serve the pearl barley inside the oyster mushrooms.

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