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Sherry-Scented Mushroom and Barley Soup

I tried this recipe out last night, and it's really good. I'd tried
mushroom and barley soups before, but they all used far too much
barley, and didn't have enough mushroom flavour for my taste. I
adapted this recipe, posted on rec.food.recipes by Strawberry Girl
<casmith@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, to use no fat, and also halved the quantity of
barley used.

Pre-cooking the barley stops it absorbing too much of the soup's
liquid. The final simmering is done over a very low heat to avoid
evaporating the liquid; it's really just to blend flavours. Last
night's leftovers were still good this morning -the barley hadn't
"stolen" any liquid at all. I've got a tub in the freezer at the
moment to see how well it stands up to that.


* Sherry-Scented Mushroom and Barley Soup *

Adapted from a recipe posted on rec.food.recipes by Strawberry Girl

* Serves 4 *

1 medium onion, chopped finely
450g (1lb) mushrooms, chopped finely
3 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp sherry (I'll use 5 next time to get the perfect balance)
2 cups well-cooked and drained barley (use 1/4 cup uncooked)
plenty of freshly-ground black pepper

1. Dry-fry the onion in a non-stick frying pan for about 5 minutes,
until beginning to soften. You don't want it to brown. Add the
mushrooms, mix well and stir for another minute or so until they begin
to release their juices. Cover and cook over low heat for 15-20
minutes, stirring once or twice, until everything is nice and soft.

2. Transfer to a saucepan. Add the soy sauce, sherry, barley and 1
litre (just over 5 cups) water. Grind in plenty of black pepper - it
can take more than you might think! Bring to simmering point,
partially cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes

Fatfree vegan recipes at http://www.ox.compsoc.net/~kake/cookery/fatfree.html