Comforting Oat Berries and Mushroom Soup

| Tuesday, December 30th, 2014


This soup is amazing. It is loaded with flavor AND it is so good for your health. It is hard to beat the nutrition in this combination and is it ever comforting on a cold winter night!   Look for the oat berries or farro grain in your market that are semi pearled as they cook much quicker.                                                                                                                                                                    -To your good health, Lee Newlin



1/3 cup dried mushrooms like porcini
1 pound fresh mushrooms (button, cremini, shiitake or a mixture)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 large stalk celery diced
3 tablespoons of your best olive oil
3/4 cup oat berries, farro, pearled barley, or spelt, rinsed (oat berries are gluten free)
6 cups vegetarian or organic chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup Madeira wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Cover dried mushrooms with 1 cup boiling water, and set aside for 20 minutes.
2. Prepare fresh, cleaned mushrooms, garlic, onion, carrots and celery and set near the stove for the soup assembly.
3. Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat.
4. Add olive oil, onions, carrots and celery and sauté until onions begin to color, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir often.
5. Add garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds.
6. Add fresh mushrooms, and cook until they begin to release liquid, about 5 to 10 minutes. Raise heat and add oat berries and sauté until it begins to color.
7. Add broth, wine and tomato paste.
8. Drain dried mushrooms and finely chop; strain mushroom-soaking liquid to remove any grit and add to pot along with the reconstituted mushrooms.
9. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and simmer for about 40 minutes, until barley is just tender. Adjust seasonings and serve with minced fresh parsley or chives and/or a dollop of crème fraîche, (optional of course).