Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wild Mushroom with Barley

Day 8: Field and Forage

Jay and I took the dogs for a walk down into downtown Ballard for our wonderful weekly farmer's market to buy some more chicken gold. I was entranced however, by the bizarre and beautiful freshly foraged chanterelles sold in the stall next door. So while we bought some chicken, I decided to save it for later in the week (maybe for traditional tortilla soup???) and instead celebrate fungi. I have two points of reference for a nice wild mushroom soup, one of my old standby favorites Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites, and a new soup cookbook sent to us by dear Aunt S, The Daily Soup Cookbook. Both of these had very similar recipes for Mushroom and Barley soup. The DSB encouraged the used of solely fresh, wild mushrooms, while Moosewood suggests a combination of dried wild mushrooms and more available fresh commercially cultivated mushrooms. Since I had the fresh wilds available to me I decided to use some dried wild mushrooms I had along side some freshly foraged wild Chantarelles. I used two varieties of Chanterelle, the more common Cantharellus cibarius along side the less common Yellow-leg Chantarelle, Cantharellus tuaeformis. Both recipes suggest you can use a wide variety of wild mushrooms, so for the dried varieties I used Porcini and Shitake.

Wild Mushroom with Barley

1 oz dried wild mushrooms (shitake, porcini, morel, chanterelle)
1/2-1 lb fresh wild mushrooms (cremini, chanterelle, yellow leg, black trumpet, oyster), stems removed and reserved, caps chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup dry white wine
8 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 small carrots, chopped
2-3 tsp dried thyme
2 dried bay leaves
1/2 cup pearl barley
salt and pepper to taste

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and cover dried mushrooms in a bowl. Let sit for at least and hour and as much as 3 hours. Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid and chop. In a large soup pot heat 1 tbsp oil. Saute fresh mushroom stems for 2-3 minutes until just soft. Add wine and bring to boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the remaining water and reserved mushroom soaking liquid and bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, run the stock through a sieve to remove stems and any dirt. Add soy sauce to the stock and set aside. In the soup pot heat remaining oil. Saute onions, garlic, celery and carrots for 2-3 minutes until just soft. Add thyme and bay leave and stir to coat vegetables. Add the mushroom caps and chopped dried mushrooms and, if desired, a splash of white wine. Let cook for 2-3 minutes. Add stock and barley and simmer for 1 hour or until barley is cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste.

Jay's review:

4.5 yums (out of 5)! 'shrooms were surprisingly tasty. Great winter soup.