Of all the forms of food out there, I like soups the most. Hot soup on a wintry or clammy day is the ideal, but soups are good anytime you feel the need for a simple, hale and hearty meal. Its complete, one-dimensional form is probably what attracts me to them as compared to full course meals plus their accompanying utensils. A spoon, that's all you need. Okay, maybe a pair of chopsticks if you are having noodles with your soup. Appetizers, two entrees, some rice and dessert can be very busy.
Here's a recipe from VegNews Magazine for a Barley and Porcini soup. If you're the type who can't work a screwdriver, you should still be able to put this soup together. ( Credit is given to VegNews for the photo and recipe.)
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 cup barley5 cups water or mushroom stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the soaking liquid, reserving the water. Thinly slice the porcinis and return to the soaking liquid. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook until soft and lightly caramelized, about 7 minutes. Add the barley and water, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Add the reserved mushrooms and soaking liquid plus half the dill. Cook until the barley is tender, about 10 minutes longer. Serve hot, garnished with the remaining dill.