Weeknight Barley Soup

Sometimes, we have great excuses for not posting for a while, but today we do not. Our parents were here this weekend, if that counts. I had a paper due today, though admittedly it didn't take that much time. Well, as always, we have a classically Als recipe to ease us back into the blogs.

It's not the most beautiful soup in the pot -- but here's a quick and simply delightful mushroom barley. We modified some classic recipes to create something that is do-able in about an hour, but still retains the wholesome, homey flavor that we love. The shitakes and soy sauce lend an interesting note, and complement the other ingredients without overwhelming. Served alongside olive-rosemary dinner rolls, this was more than we ever expected from such a basic recipe.

2 tbsp olive oil
5 carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 lb. button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups of hot water (do not discard water)
1 onion, sliced
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup barley
salt and pepper
soy sauce
parmesan cheese to garnish

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions, carrots and button mushrooms to pot, and saute until soft. Add barley and saute for five minutes. Add shitake mushrooms, chicken broth, and 1 cup of water from the soaking mushrooms. Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer for 45 minutes. Add a splash of soy sauce if you like, serve and garnish with cheese.