Barley and Mushroom Soup

Most Jewish deli’s today serve Barley and Mushroom Soup.  This soup has its roots in the Ashkenazi Jewish communities of Eastern Europe. Mushrooms were popular in those cold-weather countries because they could be harvested, dried and stored for later use.
Barley was also plentiful in the Eastern European climate, making this soup a healthy winter dish. Barley was one of the first ancient cultivated grains.

Barley and Mushroom Soup

1 oz. of dried mushrooms                                 
 2 pounds soup beef (brisket, rib, etc.)
 2 quarts water
 3 beef bouillon cubes
 2 tsp. salt
 1 onion, diced
 2 carrots, diced
 ½ cup pearl barley (wash and drain)
 parsley & dill to taste
 1 bay leaf (remove before serving)

Wash and soak mushrooms according to directions on package.  Place meat in salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes. Skim top with a slotted spoon. Add barley, drained mushrooms, onion, carrots, and seasonings. Simmer until meat and vegetables are tender (about 1 ½ hours).  Remove bay leaf. Serve hot. Serves 6.

MODERN VERSION

1 lb. cubed beef stew meat    2 stalks celery, chopped
1 Tbsp. oil                               1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 large carrots, diced             ¼ cup pearl barley
3 cloves garlic, minced           ¼ cup sour cream
1 onion, chopped                       2 boxes of beef stock

Fry small cubes of stew meat in oil or butter, until juices become a rich brown color. Next, add the carrots, onion, garlic, celery and mushrooms to the pot. Sauté until the vegetables pick up the flavor of the meat juices.  Add 2 boxes of beef stock (8 cups) and barley.  Cook until barley is soft.  Adjust liquid and seasoning as desired.  Serve hot and place a dollop of sour cream on top.

*Note: Easier to make and a very healthy meal.

 

 

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