This Wild Mushroom Bean and Barley Soup features several types of ‘shrooms and the magical orca bean! It’s perfect for chilly Autumn days!
I’ve always wanted to see a whale. Not like the kind that you might see in a Disney movie. A real whale. I find it fascinating that one of the largest mammals in the world feeds on one of the smallest. And get ready for this…whales eat up to 5,000 pounds of plankton and other small fish a day. 5,000 pounds! So when I found out that you can go whale watching off the coast of Massachusetts, I was all in.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I piled in the car with one of our friends and headed out to Gloucester, Mass. for a quick weekend trip. The afternoon boat trip was postponed until Sunday due to rough seas, but that’s ok…we just checked out the area instead. Sadly, Sunday’s trip did not produce any whale sightings, but we still had an awesome time out on the water. And we’re planning on heading back in the Spring to see if we can spot some whales.
So what in the world do our whale watching adventures have to do with this Wild Mushroom Bean and Barley Soup? Orcas are a type of whale, and I used Orca beans in this soup. (I admit it’s a weak connection, but it did let me tell you about our whale watching adventures!) But back to the Orca beans. Have you guys seen these magical beans? Ok, maybe they aren’t magic…but they’re definitely crazy cool! Orca beans are a little smaller than pinto beans, and they hold their shape well when cooked. That means they’re great in soups!
I must admit that I’m pretty excited that Fall is here. That means comfy sweatshirts and curling up on the couch watching movies. That means reading books by the fire. But, most importantly, that means delicious soups! We love making big batches of soup around the Spiced house. Back when we were both in grad school, we’d just pick up cans of soup from the store for weekday lunches. But then we realized that homemade soups really aren’t that hard to make at all. And they’re way tastier! So now we make up a big batch of soup on the weekend, and then we have easy (and healthy) lunches ready to go for the week. Tasty and easy…that’s how I roll.
Before we get to the recipe, can we talk for a quick moment about mushrooms? For me, mushrooms were always a means to an end. They provided special abilities. They turned regular Mario into Super Mario. But actual mushrooms? Eh. They’re just one of those foods that I’ve had the hardest time appreciating. It’s not the flavor. (I discovered truffle oil a few years back, and I love it!) It’s the texture. But I was determined to like mushrooms. I kept giving trying them and trying them…and now I can honestly say that I enjoy mushrooms. I’m still a little skeptical about a big pile of sauteed ‘shrooms on my plate, but I love them in soups. So when I saw the Orca beans from Bob’s Red Mill, I knew I wanted to make a mushroom soup. And I didn’t skimp on the mushrooms, either…I think there are 3-4 different varieties in this soup. Oh, and I threw in some dried porcini mushrooms for an added boost of flavor, too.
This was the first big batch of soup for us this Fall, and I gotta say that it’s already one of our favorites. Want to give Orca beans a shot for yourself? That can be arranged! I’ve teamed up with the awesome folks at Bob’s Red Mill to give you a chance to win some Orca beans along with a $50 gift card to their online store. (Pssst…if you win, then grab some barley, too. You’ll need it for this soup!) Seriously, though, I’m a huge fan of Bob’s Red Mill, and I’m lucky enough to have a store right around the corner that stocks their entire line of beans, grains, oats, flour, etc.
So here’s to comfy sweaters, early season fires and many bowls of this delicious Wild Mushroom Bean and Barley Soup! For more delicious recipes, check out the Bob’s Red Mill website. I’ve found a bunch of really great recipes on there…now I just need to find time to make all of them!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.
The opinions and recipe are all my own.