Barley soup with dried mushrooms

It’s not a diet! It’s called eating healthy!

‘Tis the season! Days are getting shorter and the air crispier. It is the beginning of November and I can’t help but notice how commercial Christmas is becoming – lights and decorations are already out in some of the stores. I guess it is human nature to do the opposite from what you are pushed towards to. They wanna make me buy more stuff? Well I get in the mood of spending less on everything. How about that? My wallet tends to go on a “no spend” diet, while my body starts craving comfort food with the weather getting colder. Those dark long nights make you want to crawl under a blanket with something warm to eat and read a book, watch a movie or just cuddle with the loved one.

For the past week I’ve noticed my increased appetite. So I’ve been tricking my body into feeling satisfied with warm, simple and tasty soups. I’m not that big of a fan of them, but they do the trick – both for the budget as well as for the cravings.
Barley plus mushrooms in any shape and form and I could live for a while feeling happy! Et voila! We have a solid part of our meal ready in no time and within a very small budget.

Ingredients:

* 1 cup barley
*  A handful of dried porcini
* 2 carrots
* 2 cubes of vegetable broth (this time – store bought, 100% natural ingredients)
* Salt’n’pepper



Yes, I am lucky – I do have a generous stash of dried, marinated and frozen mushrooms at home. It is a result of our whole family being big fans of picking and eating mushrooms, not such big fans of cleaning them before prepping. 

This dish totally qualifies for simple and falls under my newly established category “Under 5 ingredients”.

You won’t need to read the “instructions” twice. Boil barley in 2 liters of water. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. When the water gets to a boil, grate 2 large carrots and add to the pot. Crush a handful of dried mushrooms and throw in together with two cubes of vegetable broth. Let it simmer until barley is cooked through. I gave it an extra 15 or so minutes. 

To add a bit more taste/kick to the soup, go with some extra’s – a few grated potatoes will give it more “body”. I would have gone with celery root instead of potatoes, but didn’t have any at the time. A small chilly with seeds removed would add a little kick to it. For a non-vegan version, a few spoonfuls of cream or a pinch of grated aged cheese would add new flavors. My personal preference – not to add too much, the simpler, the better.

The little (not)secret with soups in most cases – the longer all ingredients simmer together, the better tastes of different ingredients incorporate. Just think about all those soups that are so much better the next day!

Bon appetit!

P.S. I know the photo of the actual soup is missing… Will work on it over the weekend I hope 🙂

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