Bowl of Mushroom Barley Soup
(click to enlarge)

Mushroom Barley Soup
Russia
  -   Pokhlyobka
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
10 cups  
***
2-1/2 hrs  
Yes

This hearty peasant style soup has easily enough heft to be a main dish. Vegetarian? With our Russian Vegetable Stock, it's meaty goodness is enough to make a vegetarian swoon! Vegans be aware - mushrooms are much more closely related to animals than to plants.





4
2
10
2
1
10
3
1
1-1/2
-------
2
1/2
2
2
1/2
4
------

c
c
oz
cl
#
oz
oz
T
T
---
T
c

t
t
T
---

Stock (1)
Water
Onion
Garlic
Mushrooms (2)
Potatoes (3)
Carrot
Dill, fresh
Lemon Juice
-----------
Butter
Barley (4)
Bay Leaves
Salt
Pepper
Butter (more)
-- Garnish
Dill, fresh
Parsley (flat)

Prep   -   (30 min - exclusive of making stock)
  1. Make the STOCK if you don't already have it. If your stock is robust like ours (see Note-1), dilute 4 cups with two cups water. For weak stocks, use 6 cups stock.
  2. Chop ONIONS small. Crush GARLIC and chop small. Mix.
  3. Slice MUSHROOMS about 1/8 inch thick.
  4. Peel POTATOES and cut into about 1/2 inch dice. Hold in cold water until needed.
  5. Peel CARROTS and slice crosswise about 3/8 inch thick.
  6. Chop DILL small.
  7. Squeeze LEMON JUICE. If using our Russian Vegetable Stock you will need 2-1/2 Tablespoons.
  8. Chop together DILL and PARSLEY (flat leaf) for Garnish (this garnish works really well with this soup).
Run   -   (1-1/2 hr to 2 hrs)
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot, melt 2 T Butter and fry Onion mix until translucent, but no browning.
  2. Stir in Stock, Carrots and Dill. Drain Potatoes and add to the pot. Stir in Barley along with Bay Leaves, Salt and Pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer covered until Barley is tender, about 1 hour - more like 1-1/2 hours if using lightly pearled barley (see Note-4).
  3. Meanwhile:   In a spacious sauté pan, Melt 4 T Butter and fry Mushrooms, stirring, until they soften and start to give up their water. Set aside.
  4. When barley is tender, stir in Mushrooms and simmer another 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in Lemon Juice and take off the heat.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with chopped Dill and Parsley .
NOTES:
  1. Stock:   In Russia, Beef Stock is usually used (see our recipe Russian Beef Stock), but a good vegetable stock can be used (see our recipe Russian Vegetable Stock), and that would have to be used during the Eastern Orthodox Lent, which would also require replacing Butter with Sunflower Seed Oil. Our stocks are pretty strong, so this recipe cuts them with 2 cups water, since the barley will absorb a lot of water.
  2. Mushrooms:   These can be regular White Mushrooms, but I strongly recommend at least half be the small King Trumpet mushrooms that have become common here in Southern California. I hope you can find them where you are, but large King Trumpets could also be used. Note that in Russia, 1-1/2 ounces of dried Mushrooms, usually Bolitus (Porcini) would likely be used instead of fresh. They are a standard pantry item in Russia, but are scarce and expensive here in North America.For details see our Fungus page.
  3. Potatoes:   I use White Rose, which hold together well for this sort of usage. Avoid Yukon Gold type which turn to mush if cooked just a little long. For details see our Potatoes page.
  4. Barley   Regular pearled barley has a problem - it sticks to the bottom of the pan and burns there if you don't watch it very closely, especially on reheating. We avoid this problem by using a very lightly pearled barley. Its grains are larger and beige rather than white. It does take longer to cook.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove, in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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