Mushroom Barley Soup
This might be my favorite winter soup -- creamy and so flavorful. True comfort food.
3/4 cup pearl barley
2 tablespoons Wild Mushroom & Sage, Tuscan Herb, House Blend, or Madagascar Black Pepper Olive Oil
4 medium onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced
4 cups beef broth
3 carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large saucepan, stir the barley and 4 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the onions and celery; cook, stirring occationally, until softened, 6-8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to soften and release their liquid, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth, carrots, tomato paste and barley with its liquid; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring as needed, until the barley and carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. Serve, garnished with parsley.