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Mighty Mushroom Barley Soup

Everything you need for a wintertime pick-me-up is right here in this tasty, nourishing soup. Barley strengthens the blood and digestive system, while rosemary improves circulation and helps you feel calm, clear-headed, and alert. Protein-rich mushrooms absorb toxins and escort them out of the body.

Yield: 
8 Cups
Cooking Time:  80 Minutes
Prep Time:  20 Minutes
Ingredients: 
  • Tips/Variations
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced leek (1-2 leeks)
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (4-6 cloves)
  • 3½ cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1¼ tsp salt or to taste
  • 11 cups water 
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari
  • 2 cups finely cubed extra-firm tofu
  • ½ cup unbleached white flour
Instructions: 
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 5-quart pot over medium-heat. Add the onion, leek, garlic, mushrooms, and 1 teaspoon of the salt and sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to brown.
  2. Add 10½ cups of the water or broth along with the barley, rosemary, pepper, and Braggs or tamari. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes until the barley is cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Add the tofu with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pan-fry for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is golden on most sides. When the barley is cooked, add the tofu to the soup.
  4. Combine the flour with the remaining ½ cup water or broth until a smooth paste forms. Add this to the soup, stirring constantly to make sure no lumps form. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, add a little more salt to taste if necessary, ladle into bowls, and serve.
Notes: 

“Beef” & Barley variation: Replace the tofu with chopped seitan or diced Boca Burgers (found frozen in most health food and grocery stores) for a vegetarian “Beef” & Barley Soup.

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