Mushroom Barley Vegetable Soup, Multigrain English Muffin with Caponata, Baby Arugula with Pecan (Almost No Added Fat)
- Approx. 1 3/4 cup onion cut into approx. 1/4" x 3/4" half moons; I, alternately, used a very large shallot that ended up being almost 2 cups
- 2 medium carrots cut into 3/8" slices (approx. 1 3/4 cup)
- Medium bell pepper cut into 3/8" cubes (approx. 1 3/4 cup)
- 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes cut into 3/4" cubes (approx. 2 cups)
- 2 cups mushroom (white or crimini, but oyster mushrooms would be a nice alternative) cut into 3/8" slices (about 6 ounces)
- (Optional) 3/4 cup thinly (1/4") sliced celery
- 3/4 cup hulled barley
- (Optional) 1/8 cup French lentil. The only reason that this is in the ingredient list is that I had this small 1/8 cup of lentils that I wanted to use up, and I didn't think they'd substantially change the texture or taste, while contributing to the nutrition, of the soup. I otherwise wouldn't use lentils.
- 1 vegan bouillon cube
- 1 1/2 T miso
- 1/2 t dried oregano
- 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 2t fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/8 t salt or to taste
- I put all of the ingredients except the salt and lemon juice into my Instant Pot and cooked on high pressure for 25m. (Hulled barley usually cooks in a 1:3 ratio for 25m, but I used extra water to have a soup.)
- When the Instant Pot was done, I slowly released pressure, added the lemon juice, and tried the soup, adding salt as needed. I think that I actually used 1/4 t salt.
The consistency was good and closer to a stew than soup. I decided to cook the leftovers for 5 more minutes to cook the barley a bit more, and first added another 3/4 cup or so of water. The barley was still a little chewy - maybe 35m next time? The other vegetables might get too soft. I'd try maybe 32m.
I think that a little bit of red wine cooked into the soup would be good. My daughter had a great suggestion, that of adding lemon zest. So, this is what I would do next time to take a great soup and make it even better:
- For more of a soup, I'd use 2 or 2 1/2 cups of water, and also add 1/4 or 1/2 cup of red wine
- I'd add 3 or 4 cloves of finely diced garlic in at the beginning
- I'd cook for 32m instead of 25m
- I might add 1/4 t or so of lemon zest just before serving