Tuesday, February 5, 2008



Its cold, windy and nothing warms you like a hot bowl of soup. I use the different types of mushrooms because they all have different and rich flavors that make the soup really tasty. If you don't have all these mushrooms on hand, then just use what you have. The dried shittake mushrooms will add a lot of flavor to the soup, so if you can don't do without. You can substitute onions for leeks. While, I use beef in the soup, this is one soup that can be made totally vegetarian and still be very hearty and tasty. I would increase the amount of portabello mushrooms since they have rich meaty taste that can fool the most discerning of meat taste buds. Use a vegetable stock instead of beef.


  • 8oz of lean beef
  • 10 medium size dried shittake mushrooms.
  • 3 cups of sliced portabello, crimini and white mushrooms
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced celery including the tops
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced leeks
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp of minced parsley
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 6 cups of beef stock
  • 3/4 cup of barley
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1 pat of butter (optional)


  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in the stock until they are soft which should be about 30 minutes or so.Squeeze the stock out of the mushrooms and slice the mushrooms thinly.
  2. Cut the beef into small bite size and pat dry with a paper towel. Salt and pepper the meat.Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and heat until oil begins to shimmer
  3. Place beef in the pot and sear all sides, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
  4. Coat the bottom of pot with olive oil and add pat of butter. When the oil start to shimmer and butter is melted, add mushrooms except for the shittake and saute until wilted.
  5. Add the leeks and garlic and saute until they are fragrant and wilted.
  6. Add the shittake mushrooms and saute for a few minutes.
  7. Add parsley and salt, continue to cook for a few minutes.
  8. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  9. Add the beef stock and simmer until beef is tender, about 1 hour.
  10. Add the barley and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.

Serve with sandwich, salad or thick slice of rustic bread. When you re-heat the soup, you may need to add additional stock as the barley will continue to soak up some of the liquid in the soup.

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