While we’re stuck in Steve’s Deli limbo, we’ve been trying to enjoy the freedom of living without a constant stream of nearly-expired sandwich fixings. Turns out that you can go wild at the grocery store without breaking the bank if you barricade yourself in the produce aisle and pretend that cheese doesn’t exist. After scooping up a handful of ramps for our local co-op, we decided to savor the last few chilly nights of the year and make a mushroom barley soup.
We’re not always the best at uncomplicated cooking, so lazy dinner nights normally end in take out. This time, we decided to do some strategizing and prep the soup beforehand, leaving the stock to marinate in the circulator. Packed with a medley of mushrooms and garlic, it turned out bright and earthy while still being surprisingly filling.
- 1 cup black barley
- 2 cups assorted mushrooms (shitake, oyster, and enoki)
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more
- 4 large eggs (optional)
- 2 small radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch ramps
- Walnut oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper to season
- The night before you make the soup, go down and grab a beer and remember you've gotta soak the barley. Cover 1 cup barley with 3 cups of cold water and leave overnight.
- The next evening, set the circulator to 68*C
- While that's heating up you strain the barley and reserve the soaking liquid
- Place the barley in rice cooker with mushroom stems and bay leaves and the appropriate amount of water.
- Put in reserved barley water (2.5ish cups) into a vaccuum bag with mushrooms, black garlic, onion, bay leaves, and kombu and place in the circulator. If you have extra mushrooms lying around, toss them in! In this case, more is more. Optional: sweat the onions and half the mushrooms for a bit before bagging.
- Have a glass of wine and relax! If you prefer a more protein rich version of this soup, toss some eggs into the circulator, they should be perfectly cooked once the broth is ready.
- minutes before you serve, prep mushrooms, radishes, ice and peel the eggs, and quickly saute the ramps.
- To serve: nestle and barley in a bowl, then top with radishes and mushrooms. Pour broth over the bowl and season as desired. We used a sprinkle of vinegar and walnut oil.