Mushroom Barley Soup
3/4 cup pearl barley
2 tablespoons Butter or Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil
4 onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 1 2/ lbs. mushrooms, sliced
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
3 carrots, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Minced parsley for garnish
In a large saucepan, combine the barley and 4 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the onions and celery; cook, stirring as needed, until softened, 6-8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stiring as needed, 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.
* This makes a big pot of soup and it can be refrigerated up to 4 days or can be frozen.