Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Mushy Mushrooms

What on earth is that funny lumpy stuff? Well, according to the recipe I was following, it's Two-Mushroom Barley Soup. It's a slow cooker recipe from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. I really like the book - because I'm always on the hunt for slow cooker recipes that don't rely on a can of cream of mushroom soup. The range of recipes is really inspiring, as is the meatless factor. It even has instructions for making your own seitan (wheat protein), which I'm keen to try.
As for the mushy mushrooms, they turned out more like a barley risotto. Not that I'm complaining - it was still really tasty and had texture. If you've got a slow cooker, I'd definitely recommend it. I've written it up in metric, but the measurements were actually in ounces.
Two-Mushroom Barley Soup from 'Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker' by Robin Robertson
30g Dried mushrooms (I used shitake where the recipe recommends porcini)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped (I'm not sure about yellow onions, I used a brown one)
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped (I used a couple. I may explain later)
1 Cup pearl barley
225g white mushrooms, sliced
6 Cups vegetable stock (mine was homemade, also from the slow cooker)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons minced fresh chives (I didn't have any)
1. Place the dried mushrooms in a heatproof measuring cup and cover with hot water. Let sit until softened. Drain, straining and reserving 1/2 Cup of the liquid, thinly slice the mushrooms, and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a small skillet (frying pan, aussies) over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Transfer the cooked vegetables to the slow cooker. Add everything except the chives and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Taste to adjust seasonings before serving. If a thinner soup is desired, add more stock (I may have missed that bit).
4. Serve, garnished with the chives.

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