On a miserable rainy day, waiting for the temps to drop and the blizzard to begin, what could be better than a warm, satisfying bowl of soup. I found a new recipe, this one from The Union Square Cafe Cookbook and it's delicious. The carrots, leeks, parsnips and Madeira give the soup a sweet flavor and the mushrooms and wild rice provide a woodsy-kind of texture that I found very appealing. I'd never worked with parsnips before - shying away from them because of an assumption that they are like turnips which I know I don't care for - but I was missing out. Parsnips look like white carrots and are sweet - a great addition to soups apparently, and to that I can now agree. The only catchy thing about this recipe is that you must separate the solids and the broth if you want to store the soup over night in the refrigerator. If you don't, the grains will absorb all of the fluid. A small price to pay for such a delicious sweet soup.
Mushroom Soup with Barley and Wild Rice
(Serves 4 to 6)
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup finely diced onions
¾ cup sliced leeks, washed
¾ cup scrubbed and sliced carrots
¾ cup peeled and diced parsnips
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pound cleaned and sliced mushrooms
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
¼ cup dry Madeira
⅓ cup wild rice
¼ cup pearled barley
5 cups Vegetable Stock or water
1 scallion, thinly sliced
- Melt the butter over medium heat in a 3-quart saucepan.
- Sauté the onions, leeks, carrots, parsnips, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, and sage. Cook until the mushrooms have softened.
- Add the Madeira and reduce by half over high heat.
- Stir in the rice, barley, and vegetable stock.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 50 minutes or until the rice is tender.
- Serve garnished with sliced raw scallions.
NOTE: To store the soup for serving the next day, strain the broth from the solids and refrigerate separately. Otherwise, all the liquid will be absorbed into the grains. When ready to serve, combine the broth and mushroom-grain base, heat, and serve.