When the weather starts to cool and gets a little drizzly (as Seattle is known to do) I start craving warm and hardy soups. Thick, earthy and when you get up from the table, you don’t even care that it’s already dark.
Most of the vegan barley soups I’ve found seem to be too brothy and not enough of a bold flavor for me. My family is newly vegan so we still need that “meaty” flavor. So what do I do when I need a bolder flavor? I booze it up. Yep. That’s the bam around my house. “Booze it up!” I know, what a wonderful role model I am! I also like to add kale. Mostly for color but also because it is super nutritious and I am always trying to toss it into my dishes.
This Drunken Mushroom and Barley Soup recipe is great with some homemade foccacia. My favorite is flavored with rosemary and pumpkin seed.
WARNING: This recipe makes a ton so be prepared to have a wonderful dinner waiting for you in your fridge all week. Ok, or maybe you could invite some worthy friends over to feast too.
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
½ to ¾ cup of red wine
8-10 cups of vegetable stock
12 oz package of cremini mushrooms, chopped
½ cup kale, chopped or slivered
2 cups barley, uncooked
1 teaspoon dried thyme
truffle oil, for serving
parsley for garnish
salt and pepper, as needed
Heat up a heavy bottomed large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Swirl a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in it. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Add the onions and cook until soft and almost translucent.
Add about ½- ¾ cup of red wine and let is simmer for about five minutes. Add the carrots, celery and thyme and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the barley and stir until it is coated and glistening. Pour in 8 cups of vegetable broth, turn up heat and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. Add more broth as needed to keep the barley soft but not soupy. You want it thick.
Add the mushrooms and kale. Stir and simmer until the barley is soft, about 15 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Ladle into bowl and drizzle with truffle oil and sprinkle with chopped parsley.