This is the soup to make for a satisfying meal on a cold day. Turkey thighs are added here both for substance and flavor. Removing the skin from the turkey reduces the fat. Pearl barley is barley that has the bran removed and then is steamed and polished. This helps it cook a little faster than regular unprocessed barley.
You can use any combination of dried mushrooms you prefer for this soup. I try to find packages that have a variety of mushrooms for a more complex flavor. Adding a touch of soy sauce at the end of cooking brings out the rustic earthy flavors of the mushrooms. This soup freezes well and also can prepared up to two days ahead of serving. Just make sure to adjust the seasonings when reheating it.
TURKEY BARLEY MUSHROOM SOUP
- 1/2 ounce dried mixed mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups of boiling water for 30 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, thoroughly washed and coarsely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1/2 pound white button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 2 turkey thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), skinned
- 8 cups of chicken or beef stock
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving 1 cup of the soaking liquid; squeeze the mushrooms dry. Strain the liquid and set aside. Cut the mushrooms into 1/4-inch cubes and set aside.
2. In a large soup pot, heat the oil on medium high heat. Add the leeks and saute for 5-7 minutes or until nicely softened. Add the garlic, barley, carrot and fresh mushrooms, and saute for another minute or until coated. Add the turkey thighs and stock, and simmer the soup on low heat, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours or until the barley is tender but not mushy.
3. Remove the turkey thighs from the pot. Discard the skin and cut the meat from the bones. Shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and return it to the pot. Add the strained dried mushroom liquid along with the reserved dried mushrooms to the soup. Add the soy sauce and parsley and simmer 5 more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.