Sunday, March 10, 2013

Mushroom-Barley-Kale Soup: Hearty & Healthy for Souper (Soup, Salad or Sammie) Sundays

My mom brought me a care package of Trader Joe's goodies on her visit. (Always the perfect hostess gift for my TJ's-deprived soul!) ;-) In addition to the always welcome chocolate and Rosemary Marcona Almonds, there were little bags of quick-cooking barley and farro. Perfect for salads and soups like this hearty Mushroom-Barley-Kale Soup. I started with a recipe clipped from the paper (the actual source wasn't noted), that I used for inspiration. I changed the recipe around quite a bit, increasing the amount of mushrooms and thyme, and putting in carrots, celery and ribbons of kale--adding nutrients and much needed color to the soup. 

Mushroom-Barley-Kale Soup
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 6)

1 1/2 Tbsp Earth Balance or olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1-2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
16 oz mushrooms (I used a mixture of white button & crimini)
2 quarts vegetable stock (I used a veggie "no chicken" base and water)
1 oz dried shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 cup quick-cooking barley
1 bunch kale, center stems removed and sliced thinly

In a soup pot, melt the butter over medium high heat and add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper and saute about 5-7 minutes, until onion is softened. Add the fresh mushroom and cook about 8 minutes or until the mushrooms soften. Add the broth and the dried shitake mushrooms and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the barley and kale and cook until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Season to taste with additional salt and black pepper. 

Notes/Results: A satisfying bowl of soup full of mushroom flavor. The Trader Joe's Quick-Cook Barley worked great--good consistency and not at all mushy. I would add a bit more kale next time--I just used what the small bunch I had on hand. We ate this with grilled bread and some raw vegetables in a basil-garlic taro dip from the farmers market, making it a filling but not at all heavy dinner. This vegan soup is hearty enough to feed the veg-friendly and carnivores equally well--as long as you like mushrooms. ;-) I would make it again. 

We have soups, salads and a sandwich waiting in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's have a look.

Janet of The Taste Space made this bright and hearty Roasted Vegetable Ribollita and says, "This recipe was for a ribollita, an Italian peasant soup featuring vegetable soup with day-old bread.  Most versions use leftover vegetable soup, but here we create a complex soup simply from roasted vegetables. Roasted fennel was new to me, but I really liked the medley from roasted red peppers, zucchinis, carrots, mushrooms and onions. White beans add bulk and the giant corona white beans were a perfect match to the chunky vegetables. Sliced cabbage added an almost noodle-like feel with some structure to the vegetable soup.

Joanne of Eats Well With Others is here with a beautiful bowl of Potato-Kale Soup with Gruyere and says, "I was working on accepting the fact that my potato soup dream was never quite going to happen. (At least not in a non-artery clogging kinda way.)  And then, when I least expected it, into my life fell this potato-kale soup from Cooking Light. And it was like all of my carb-filled dreams came true in one fell swoop. Between the gruyere topping (swoon) and the kinda-caramelized onion base, it tastes almost like a good French onion but with all the heartiness that potato has to offer.  And it's filled with a truckload of kale. Which, in my always a good thing.

Pam of Sidewalk Shoes shares this colorful Chicken Salad with Crunchy Vegetables and Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette and says, "Looking through Sara Foster’s Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Foster's Market I found this recipe for Chicken Salad with Crunchy Vegetables and Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette.  Perfect.  It was easy and good.  There is plenty of dressing, and later tossed with some shredded makes a lovely Asian inspired slaw!"

Tigerfish of Teczcape - An Escape to Food offers up this Gado Gado --Peanut Sauce Vegetables Salad and says, "Well, in my view, as long as you know how to make a delicious spicy peanut sauce - you are 90% to complete satisfaction. The remaining 10% is to steam/blanch the vegetables (long beans, cabbage), pan-fry the tofu and prepare hard-boiled eggs. This not only makes a balanced and mouth-watering side dish, it is also a tasty appetizer plate of vegetables."

Ana of Sweet Almond Tree shares decadent Croissant, Raspberry and Nutella Tea Sandwich Bites and says, "I bought a single croissant and some raspberries and I invited myself to tea.  A nice cuppa and a bite of a croissant, raspberry and Nutella sandwich.  What a great idea that was!  The raspberries came from Mexico, all the way here to the cold Northeast, and they were magical.  They brought sunshine into the house. Best raspberries ever!"

Thanks to everyone who joined in. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on my side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. I like your healthy, colourful additions, Deb! :)

  2. TJ's does have some great finds like that! I haven't yet bought the quick farro but I really need to because it's so expensive everywhere else! This soup is definite healthy comfort food...and who doesn't love that!

  3. www.teczcape.blogspot.comMarch 11, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    I like the wholesomeness of your kale mushroom barley soup!

  4. Absolutely love it. It is perfect for my event. Please do take a look and submit it :)


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