Most people are either on the love or hate train when it comes to mushrooms. Me? I LOVE them which is why I add them to a lot of my recipes like this Mushroom Barley Soup. Before I share one of my favorite recipes with you, I thought I’d explain some of the most common mushroom varieties in your local grocery store.
What are the different types of mushrooms?
- Agaricus, which is also known as the white button mushroom, is one of the most common mushrooms seen in your local grocery store and is readily available year round. It’s very versatile when cooking and can be eaten raw and cooked.
- Chanterelle is a vase shaped mushroom with a nutty, delicate flavor. Fresh Chanerelle’s are fairly expensive so you see them frequently in dried form. They’re commonly used in sauces and risottos and when cooking, you should add them later in the process to avoid becoming too tough.
- Crimini mushrooms have a rich, earthy flavor and are used to add a more robust flavor to your dishes.
- Shiitake mushrooms look like little umbrellas and are also know as Chinese black mushrooms. These mushrooms are great when used in dishes that are sautéed, broiled or baked; however, it is recommended that the stems be removed prior to cooking.
- Oyster mushrooms resemble a fan and have a delicate flavor. The caps are thin and cook quickly, so add them towards the end of your cooking process. These are most commonly used in stir fry dishes.
- Enoki mushrooms have long stems and tiny white caps, and can be used in sandwiches, salads and garnishes. When cooking, add them towards the end of your cooking process so that they don’t get too tough.
- Portabello These are the most commonly purchased mushrooms available commercially and are the mature version of the Crimini mushroom. They have a meaty texture and can be used whole, sliced, grilled, or baked. but remember to trim the stem before using.
- Porcini mushrooms look like a toadstool and have a strong flavor. They are generally more expensive and can also be found dried.
- Morel mushrooms are relative to the truffle and are spongy with a smoky earthy flavor. The darker the mushroom, the more pungent the flavor.
For this Mushroom Barley soup recipe I used Agaricus or white button mushrooms, onion, celery, carrots, EVOO, all purpose flour, vegetable broth, barley, and parsley. I tend to use white button mushrooms more frequently in my recipes than most of the other varieties. However, I also use Portobello mushrooms second as I don’t care for the earthy flavor of some other varieties.
The white mushrooms used in this soup softened nicely and combined with the barley and vegetables, gave this hearty vegetarian soup a wonderful, aromatic flavor.
Start by heating the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and add the mushrooms, onion, celery and carrots. Sweat the vegetables until they start to soften and become translucent, approximately 5-8 minutes; then add the flour.
Next, add the vegetable broth and barley; then bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the barley has fully expanded. Season with salt and pepper. This recipe for Mushroom Barley Soup serves 4 and you can also add leftover roast beef or chicken for a non vegetarian option. Though the barley makes it super hearty on its own. ~Enjoy!
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Mushroom Barley Soup
- Heat oil in a large pot and add in the mushrooms, onion, celery and carrots. Sweat until the vegetables start to soften; approximately 5-8 minutes.
- Stir in the flour, then add the vegetable broth and barley; mix well.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the barley has fully expanded. Season with salt and pepper.
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