This Wild Mushroom Bean and Barley Soup features several types of ‘shrooms and the magical orca bean! It’s perfect for chilly Autumn days!
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill. The opinions and recipe are all my own.
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!
Wild Mushroom Bean and Barley Soup
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.
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!
Did you make this Wild Mushroom Bean and Barley Soup at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). I’d love to see your version!
Wild Mushroom Bean and Barley Soup
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large white onion diced
- 3 stalks celery thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 3-4 cups ~1 pound shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 3-4 cups ~1 pound oyster mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 6 cups ~2 pounds button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup dry sherry
- ¼ cup dried porcini mushrooms
- 4 quarts low-sodium vegetable stock
- 2 cups fresh spinach chopped
- 1 cup orca beans
- 1 cup dry barley
- fresh parsley to garnish
- Clean the fresh mushrooms by lightly brushing off any dirt. Peel off any tough outer skins of the mushroom caps and discard. (Tip: Mushrooms absorb water quickly. If you rinse them heavily when cleaning, they can absorb too much water and dilute the flavor of the soup.)
- Using a Dutch oven or large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms. Cover pot and cook over medium-low heat for 6-7 minutes, or until onions have softened slightly. (Note: Don't be alarmed by the volume of mushrooms. They will cook down quite a bit very quickly!)
- Add sherry and cook over medium heat (uncovered) for 15 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft.
- Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a food processor or mini-chopper. Pulse until finely ground.
- Add dried mushrooms, vegetable stock, spinach and orca beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add the barley and simmer for another 30 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley before serving.
Looking for more tasty soup recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: