Cold weather has finally (and briefly) moved into the southeast. Moose is stuck at work but Lil Bit and I are busy working on things at home. Including a yummy and hearty soup that has become a family favorite. I was originally inspired by a recipe you can find here. However, none of us are fans of celery and Lil Bit has a tomato allergy so this Mommy had to creatively find a way to give the soup some flavor and acidity. You can absolutely pre-prep this and throw it in the freezer (minus broth) for a busy night and cook in either the slow cooker for about 4-6 hours or you can also cook in a Dutch oven the way I do for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The last 5-10 mins I cook I take the lid off and let it reduce just a little.
Mushroom Barley Stew (E2 Tomato-free version)
8oz Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots sliced (I like rainbow carrots)
1 onion, diced
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I am having a strange pregnancy aversion to garlic at this time so I just used about 1 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 to 1 tablespoon of salt (I tend to like it less salty because I use unsalted beef broth that still has some sodium content)
1 tsp of dried basil
1 tsp of preferably fresh black pepper
1-2 tablespoons Marsala or similar wine
6 cups of unsalted Beef Broth (if needing tomato-free for allergy PLEASE watch the label as many, many brands include tomato. I use Pacific organic brand or Field Day organic brand as they have so far been safe for us)
This is a super hearty stew and probably makes between 6-8 servings depending on size/appetite. Moose is a big guy with a big appetite so closer to 6 servings for us.
I hope you my spin on this stew.