This is what happens when you try to grow carrots in a raised bed and don’t know much about growing carrots at all.
Or, Mushroom Carrot Barley Stew. Or even Barley Stew with carrots and mushrooms. Also includes kale, carrots, onions and ginger.
Earlier this week, I tweeted about prepping for a pork stew in the slow cooker. I cut the veggies and combined things in plastic containers so that come morning, Chris could just toss things in, season the pork and set the crockpot on low. I would get home from work around 5 pm which would be the right time to take the pork out and shred it then serve.
It all worked perfectly. But. But.
It was not tasty. Not at all.
Fatty/greasy broth and you could barely taste the aromatics (allspice and thyme plus garlic and ginger). This recipe was one of several I’d pulled from a copy of Food Network TV magazine. Last Sunday I’d made a chicken chili, using a recipe in an advertisement for crockpots and it was delicious. In fact, I’m going to make it again this week since my slow cooker is small and I had to halve the original recipe so I have extra everything.
But this pork stew was not good. We tried adding salt/pepper. We tried adding various acids to cut the fatty taste. I added fresh herbs. Nope, nada, nothing. I put the whole thing in the fridge as we were going to the movies. Now, its sitting in there, hogging my slow cooker insert with a not very appetizing layer of congealed fat on top. Mocking me.
So…. it was with great apprehension that I went forward with my plan to make this Barley stew tonight. I have been itching to use my new Le Creuset pot, I had all the ingredients and no real purpose for the shiitake mushrooms than this recipe. It was time to bite the bullet.
Now, I’m going to have to make a third recipe from the magazine to break the tie.
This soup was fantastic.
It smelled amazing in the pot, especially when I was toasting the barley and mushrooms.
The carrot added some sweetness which was balanced by the earthy mushrooms and just slightly bitter kale. This will defiinitely go on the repeat list.
Carrot-Mushroom Barley Soup
Ingredients2 cups carrot juice 10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, caps sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 cup instant barley 1 medium onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, including leaves, chopped 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary 4 medium carrots, cut in to 1/2 inch pieces 4 cups kale or mustard greens, leaves torn 1 tablespoon grated ginger salt & pepper
1. Bring carrot juice, 3 cups water and mushrooms stems to a boil in a saucepan
2. Heat olive oil and two tablespoons butter in large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and barley, stirring to coat. Cook approximately 5 minutes, until barley is toasted.
3. Add onion, celery and rosemary, season with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.
4. Add carrots and cook 2 more minutes.
5. Increase heat to high and add half of carrot juice, omitting mushroom stems. Bring to a boil and cook until most of liquid is absorbed, about 6 minutes.
6. Add remaining carrot juice, kale and ginger, stirring to combine. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
7. Stir in remaining two tablespoons butter.
Notes: Everything took longer than listed but that could just be me being conservative and trying to work out the best temp for my new cast-iron pot.
I added more rosemary, probably doubling to 1/2 teaspoon. I still didn’t notice it being strong in the end product but if you don’t like rosemary, stick with the original.
The recipe indicates this makes 4 servings at 333 calories each. I can’t imagine eating a full one-quarter of the pot-full of soup. Both Chris and I had big bowls and I still divided the rest up in to 3 more containers which felt like a lot of food per person. I also question the nutrition analysis based on this have 4 tablespoons of butter and two of olive oil.
Ah-ha, I ran this recipe through Nutrition Data’s analyzer and it came back as 495 calories per serving, assuming we divide the total by 4. Thus, the calories listed at 333 are probably right for the size of serving I had and I would call the “serves 4” an error.
This was a great first dish for the Le Creuset- next up will have to be something from the newly arrived Art of French Cooking since Julie & Julia inspired the purchase to begin with.
**Full disclosure: those last two pictures are Photoshopped. I was playing with Actions and that last one, Sunshine, perfectly described how this soup stew tasted to me. Also, it counteracts the high noise levels becuase I was shooting in horrible light and had to boost the ISO.