Root Vegetable and Barley Soup with Bacon

You can store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If you store this for more than a day, though, the barley will absorb some of the liquid and you’ll need to thin it with a little water when you reheat it.

From Fine Cooking Comfort Food, Taunton Press, 2011

Root Vegetable and Barley Soup with Bacon

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    1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms Freshly ground black pepper
    2 medium cloves garlic 2 quarts lower-salt chicken broth
    Kosher salt 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
    4 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise 2 medium purple-top turnips, peeled and cut into small dice
    2 medium red onions, chopped 2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice
    2 small bay leaves 3/4 cup pearl barley, picked over, rinsed, and drained
    3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


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    • 1

      In a small bowl, soak the mushrooms in 1 cup boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and pour the liquid through a fine strainer to remove any grit. Reserve the liquid. Rinse the mushrooms, chop them, and set aside.

    • 2

      Chop the garlic, sprinkle it with 3/4 tsp. salt, and then mash it to a paste with the side of a chef’s knife. Set aside.

    • 3

      In a 6-quart (or larger) Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, crumble when cool, and set aside.

    • 4

      Add the onion and 1 tsp. salt to the bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic paste, bay leaves, caraway seeds, thyme, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped mushrooms, mushroom liquid, chicken broth, carrots, turnips, potatoes, barley, and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat; skim any foam as necessary. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley and vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and discard the bay leaves. Serve garnished with the bacon.

    nutritional information

    7 g
    3.5 g
    Saturated Fat:
    1 g
    37 g
    11 g
    450 mg
    Monounsaturated Fat:
    1.5 g
    Polyunsaturated Fat:
    .5 g
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