This soup is one of my favorites. It’s a great chunky, healthy vegetable soup. It has a ton of “super foods” in it too- carrots, kale, and mushrooms. Not to mention barley, which is one of my favorite nutrient rich whole grains. It does have a bit of butter, but the butter really helps richen up the flavor. Please don’t skip adding the butter.
I made another carrot soup a while back that is also up there on my top favorite soups list (Carrot Ginger Soup). I don’t know what it is about these carrot soups that really turns my crank, but man, do they ever! The carrot lends a touch of sweetness while pairing perfectly to all the savory flavors at the same time. It really does make for a great soup base.
And the mushrooms are essential for this “stew”. It calls for shiitake mushrooms, which are super flavorful and meaty. You begin by de-stemming the caps and making a “stock” from the stems. The stems are discarded, used only in the stock for their flavor. Lets not be wasteful here people! I think that whole technique is genius. Get all the flavor without any of the potentially fibrous bits. This soup also toasts the uncooked barley together with the mushroom caps, creating extra depth of flavor yet again.
It’s just a very clever soup all around. The flavors blend so well together- nutty, sweet, and savory. SO good! And any time that I can pack something especially healthy into a delicious dish, I am there! Sometimes I find it especially hard to eat my veggies, particularly greens like kale. This soup really makes it possible for me.
- 2 cups carrot juice
- 10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, caps sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup instant barley
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery with leaves, finely diced
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 medium carrots, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 4 cups kale or mustard greens, stems removed and leaves torn
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger
- Bring the carrot juice, 3 cups water and the mushroom stems to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a pot over medium-high heat. Add the mushroom caps and barley and cook until the barley is toasted, about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion, celery and rosemary to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and cook 2 more minutes.
- Increase the heat to high and add half of the carrot juice mixture, leaving the mushroom stems in the pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is almost absorbed, about 6 minutes.
- Add the remaining carrot juice mixture, the kale and ginger and cook, stirring, until the barley and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, then ladle the stew into bowls.
adapted from Food Network