How beautiful and grand is a mushroom barley soup. Silky, satisfying. My family — young and old — will always appreciate and accept and voraciously consume such a soup (notice how we enjoyed one two years ago and also four years ago). The “Very Easy Mushroom Barley Soup,” from allrecipes.com, provided all we needed for an enjoyable meal. I believe in barley as an ever-reliable grain. All I have to do is cook it, simply, and we will all eat it, in heaps.
First, I sauteed my onion, carrots, celery, and garlic for 4 minutes, until transparent. After pouring in and boiling the mushrooms, vegetable-bouillon broth (instead of chicken broth), and barley, I simmered for 44 minutes. I added 2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper to my final soup. And what a lovely soup it was.
And next, I made the “Cauliflower ‘Pasta’ with Peas & Ricotta,” from thestonesoup.com, though I can’t quite figure out while she calls it a “pasta.” No one’s being fooled here; what we’ve got is incredible, cheesy cauliflower and peas, and that alone is enough to celebrate. I used one small, darling head of orange cauliflower, which I boiled for 6 minutes. Using good-quality, frozen, organic peas remains a proud option. I cooked these for 5 minutes. Fresh mint is a thrill and will always be a pea’s best friend.
Mixing everything with ricotta is such a smart and satisfying choice; the parmesan makes this a party. I added 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper to this combination. We all loved it.
Mushrooms (1 lb.) = $3.52
Cauliflower (1) = $3.54
RECIPES: I can’t tire of the silky mushroom barley soup, nor will I turn away from cheesy cauliflower
PREP TIMES: enjoy the soup after about an hour of prep and cooking; cauliflower is ready in less than 30 minutes
TASTES: mushrooms + barley coat your tongue with the heartiest of silkiness; cauliflower + peas + mint are giggling children, best friended by their coating of cheeses
I’ll remain on my vegetarian route, and next time cook a baked tagliatelle recipe, inspired by 101cookbooks.com. This one will combine potatoes and cabbage and pasta (and more cheese!). See it when you return to my site on Monday, February 14.