Wild Mushroom & Barley Soup with Kale Recipe

Wild Mushroom & Barley Soup with Kale

I like to make the soup base in my heavy cast iron pot, then i use a second, much larger pot to prepare the kale and hold the final brew. You could just make it all in one big pot if that works better for you. You’ll also need a wok or a large saucepan to saute the broccoli and mushrooms.

Be aware that i come from the Ole Southern school of cooking, which means everything is sort of freestyle. With soup especially, there’s plenty of room to experiment and throw in whatever is abundant in your garden or local market at the moment. Substitutions are welcomed.
Do whatever works for your tastes!

PART 1 – The Soup Base:

  • 2 medium-size yellow onions
  • 1 small bunch of carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 6 cloves of garlic (or more, i use about half a large clove)
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp salt (i like to use smoked sea salt)
  • 1 tsp pepper (or more. i spend 20 seconds or so cranking the pepper mill)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 6 cups water

Chop everything into small pieces and add it all (EXCEPT the water) to a large heavy-bottomed pot with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 10-20 minutes on high heat with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until the onions are browning and starting to caramelize. Be sure to keep the lid on as much as possible so the salt can draw the juices out of the veggies.

When the veggies are browned and fragrant, add the water. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer.

PART 2 – The Main Event:

  • 2 cups of purple barley (rinsed and ready to cook)
  • 2 or 3 bunches of kale (about a colander smashed full and overflowing. i pick however much is fresh in my garden)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 6-8 cups of wild mushrooms (black morels, black trumpets and other earthy ones work well for this recipe)
  • 3 heads of broccoli
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp dehydrated veggie seasoning (i get Lydia’s Organics brand in the raw section at whole foods)

Add the barley to the simmering broth. Turn the heat up to high until it boils, then put the lid on, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

Chop up the kale and add it to the big pot with the water and put the lid on. After the water boils, add the barley and broth from the small pot and turn the heat down to medium-low. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Chop the broccoli heads and throw them in the wok (or large saucepan) with the oil and spices. Stir well, put the lid on and saute on high for a few minutes, stirring from time to time. Meanwhile, break up the mushrooms into pieces with your hands or a paring knife. Add them to the wok and saute everything until the broccoli is tender and the mushrooms are cooked. When they’re ready, throw it all in the big pot, put the lid on, and turn off the heat. Let the pot sit on the stove for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Depending on how thick your soup turns out, you may want to add water at the end. It’s also okay to add water at any time, especially while the barley is simmering, if levels get low.

Serves well with cornbread and roasted veggies!