Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Mushroom and Barley Soup


I stood on the bathroom scale and the needle accelerated to the right. A bit too far right for my liking. I looked at the numbers. What???!!! One hundred...****....Yarrgh!!! Boing! Boing! Boing! (That was my eyeballs popping, not my belly fats bouncing, thank you). I stared at the numbers again. Not good. Not good at all.



To torture myself further, I took out my measuring tape and measured my vital statistics. The reading : Still the same-too big-too big. I tell you, these fats never go to the right place. I regained the 15 or so pounds I lost no thanks to the bags of Twisties, Mr Potato and Doritos (the Smokin' BBQ is really good, don't try it) I have been munching to cheer myself up. Work and deadlines does put a damper on my spirits but chowing down on sodium laden carbs is not the answer. 



No wonder my waistband is choking me and I feel vibrations  when I climb up the stairs. In all fairness, this shouldn't be cause for unnecessary panic. I mean, I'm still below 200lbs muahahahaha!!! But still.......















I needed to take stock of the situation and start eating healthy. And I mean healthy, no more empty carbs and junk food. Yah, yah, I know I shouldn't be stuffing my face with things like Rempeyek and I promised myself that that would be my last indulgence.

So when I came upon this recipe for Old Fashioned Mushroom and Barley Soup, I decided that this is going to be the start to my eat healthy resolve. This soup calls for Shitake and Button Mushrooms. I guess any kind of mushroom that can withstand long simmering would be alright. Another ingredient is Pearl Barley, something I did not expect to use in a soup. 



After cooking the soup, I eagerly dug in. It was good but the tomato puree was too overpowering for me. It was sour and smelt very strong. I should have used less than what was called for in the recipe. Also I felt that Shitake mushrooms were not suitable for this soup. After that one bowl, I decided that I could improve the soup further. Sad to say, the remainder of the soup went into the compost heap. 


My solution to jazzing up this beautiful soup is bacon. Oh yes, everything tastes good with bacon :) And it's partner in crime - sausages. I fried the bacon until brown and crispy, removed it from the pot and then fried the sausages. Once browned, I removed the sausages and sauteed the onions, garlic and ginger until the onions were wilted and slightly brown. 


The evil accomplices.

Then I added the carrots, mushrooms, water, chicken stock, pearl barley and the bacon and sausages. Instead of tomato puree, I added 2 cups of tomato ketchup with 1/4 cup tomato puree. The soup was simmered until the barley was tender.


As expected, the soup turned out a lot tastier than the original version. Very good smoky flavours from the bacon and sausages. The only small hurdle for me is getting used to the faint aroma of barley. I guess it is something I could get used to. I also felt that there was too much barley and in future I would reduce it to 1/4 cup. I wouldn't mind cooking this soup again as it made for a very satisfying and robust meal.










Old-Fashioned Mushroom and Barley Soup
Recipe Source : Reader's Digest Eat Well Stay Well (page 139)
(My adaptations are in red)

Ingredients :
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (I used more than this)
- 1 onion, finely chopped (I used 2 big onions, sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed (I used 5 cloves, roughly chopped)
- 2 carrots, diced
- 375g button mushrooms, sliced (I used 200g)
- 125g shitake mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (I used 250g Portobello mushrooms)
- 1/2 cup pearl barley (I would reduce this to 1/4 cup next time)
- 2 cups chicken stock (1 used 2 cubes Maggi chicken stock)
- 1 cup tomato puree (I mixed 2 cups tomato ketchup with 1/4 cup tomato puree)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger (I used 1/2 inch fresh ginger, finely julienned)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (I omitted)
- 2 cups water (I used about 800ml water but please adjust to your preferred consistency)
- 3 rashers streaky bacon, cut into smaller pieces.
- 250g pork sausages, cut into 1" pieces (I used low sodium Taiwan sausages)

Method :-
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat.
2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until tender.
3. Add the carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes or until crisp-tender.
4. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until tender.
5. Stir in the barley, stock, 2 cups water, the tomato puree, ginger and pepper.
6. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 45 minutes or until the barley is tender.
7. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

My method :
1. Heat oil in pot and fry the bacon until brown. Remove and set aside.
2. In the same oil, fry sausages until brown. Remove and set aside.
3. Add more oil of necessary and sautee the onions, garlic and ginger until onions and wilted and slightly brown.
4. Add carrots and stir for about 5 minutes.
5. Add mushrooms, stir and add water, barley, chicken stock, bacon, sausages and tomato ketchup/tomato puree. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 50 minutes or until barley is tender.
6. Adjust seasoning and serve.






This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

32 comments:

  1. I admire you Phong Hong. It seem most of your posts are healthy dishes and your family is so lucky to have you cooking healthy dishes for them all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mel, I find some recipes that are supposed to healthy but they don't taste that nice. So I make it a bit unhealthy for better flavours hah! hah! I think a bit of bacon and sausage once in a while is ok :)

      Delete
  2. This looks yum. I prefer to make it vegetarian, since we do not eat pork. Thanks for sharing this. nice clicks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Swasthi, this soup is supposed to be vegetarian (if without chicken stock) but I was a bit naughty in adding the extra ingredients :)

      Delete
  3. Hi Phong Hong,
    Hahaha! You are so funny! My bathroom scale sudah rosak years ago, probably from "heavy-duty" usage! Hahaha! And have never replaced that since then, don't want to "pengsan" each time I stand on it!
    Well, with the addition of sausages and bacon, there goes your diet, but on the bright side, the soup is not wasted and looks delicious too!
    Sometimes I use barley in Chinese soups, but have not done that in a long time.
    Thank you for linking to LTU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joyce, it's a bit depressing lah when your pants get too tight hah! hah! I have to cut down on my carbo intake and I have to exercise! But most of the time, laziness gets the better of me. I would like to use barley more often in soups since I have quite a bit leftover.

      Delete
  4. Hi Phong Hong, love your humour. You sure make me smiling from east to west. We ladies very susah lah....weight go up then hard to come down. If hormone not balance lagi susah want to drop the weight. :(

    Very nice and healthy soup. So many ingredients just take this soup for lunch kow tim, no need eat rice.

    Have a nice day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amelia, diet starts today! This soup is very filling. I had it for breakfast so that I don't sneak downstairs to buy the mee goreng. Hah! Hah!

      Delete
  5. Hi PH! Your bathroom scale display is in Kg or Ib? :D

    A good start to your healthy eating plan...... but the bacon and Taiwan Sausage? Hmmmmm...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alvin, both kg and lb. And no, the one hundred....is not kg! I am trying to get back to the Atkins diet. Bacon and sausages are allowed but of course in moderate amounts :)

      Delete
  6. This looks absolutely delicious! And healthy too. The addition of sausages make it alot more flavorful. I am also trying to be healthier hee hee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mich, healthy food sometimes don't taste that good :( I am trying to eat more salads as often as I can.

      Delete
  7. The weighing scales saga replays at least 3 times a day - I tried breathing out but it registers the same. Looks like cooking is a work hazard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You weigh yourself 3 times a day! Hah! Hah! Food blogging does take it's toll on our waistlines :(

      Delete
  8. Had a good laugh bila baca part boing boing boing tu bukan your belly fats bouncing! Well PH, before this, every time I went on the bathroom scale, I would say it is out of order. Not only my bathroom scale, but the doctor's scale pun i cakap rosak! The Doctor siap suruh i naik timbang yang dia baru beli tau. Still rosak, I told her. All because the number is not to my liking! Hahahaha... But now, I think my timbang dah baik sikit. Hahahaha... thanks to the 10,000 steps per day habit.

    Mmmm if I were to try out this recipe, I will definately follow the ones written in red. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MamaFaMi, kalau macam tu all the mesin timbang I step on is rosak! I am starting to exercise again lah, what to do? Hopefully in a few months time the weighing machine will be in good working order. Wink! Wink!

      Delete
    2. Welcome to the club! *wink* *wink* to you too.... Yeah we can do it!!!

      Delete
    3. Thank you, thank you! I will report back in a few months time :)

      Delete
  9. Hi Phong Hong, this dish is nice. Must be very aromatic. I never dare subscribe to this saying 'Eat first belakang kira'. I don't need a weighing scale to tell me that my body is going side ways. My clothes will. Once in a while I try on my clothes of 10-15 years, if they still fits well, then I'm safe. Hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimmy, I must learn from you. I need to be more disciplined lah. I have some old clothes in my cupboard but dare not try on yet because I know sure can't fit! Hee..hee...

      Delete
  10. Phong Hong, mushroom and barley pun boles jadi soup ...good idea wor! This thick soup very suitable for me here because the weather is really cold now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Li Shuan, feels funny a bit lah putting barley in the soup. But it is ok, not to bad and it makes the soup thick. Very filling so that I don't sneak out and eat my favourite crispies!

      Delete
  11. Phong Hong, do some exercise if you really concern about the weight, I support you! I like seeing those sausages in your soup!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessie, thanks for the encouragement! Yah, I have started exercise but some days feel very lazy.

      Delete
  12. The evil accomplices did a great job didn't they? I am tempted with them in it :) Btw, i tried your chicken mushroom soup with some slight changes (based on what vege i had) and the family enjoyed it, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad your family enjoyed the soup! The bacon and sausages made a lot of difference, naughty but nice!

      Delete
  13. Oooo...looks good! Bacon, sausages...all my favourites! Barley? Hmmm...all this time, I only know of barley in those cooling drinks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arthur, I felt that barley in soups is strange but apparently it is quiet commonly used. I'm still getting used to it.

      Delete
  14. Phong Hong, I'm totally drooling over your amazing and super delicious mushroom/barley soup. With or without the bacon and sausage, I would love it! The addition of the ginger is something that I will certainly add next time...otherwise I make mine almost identical to yours. So inviting, comforting and gorgeous how you made it! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elisabeth, I know that I should enjoy the original version but sadly I didn't. Because I think this is a good soup, I cooked it again with the naughty ingredients and I loved it a lot!

      Delete
  15. hahaha...I pun ada problem yg sama, mesin timbang i pun selalu jarum tu rosak! first day beli pun dah rosak, after 2 yrs pun still rosak! so i tolak dia pelan2 titon bawah katil, habis cerita. I cakap ngan mesin tu, "takper..you rosak la sampai you tua..." :)

    Now i simpan jeans lama - 10 tahun dulu punya...agak2 ada berani, i try la pakai... kalau rasa sendat macam ketupat, i cakap jeans tu rosak! so I simpan balik jeans tu and pi kitchen tengok tin oat ngan sedihnya...

    pastu masuk dapur you...sedih gak lagi...ni soup ni mesti nak kena cari roti...roti pulak mana cukup 1/2 (1/2 packet laa...), so I makan 1 jer (1 dozen) ataupun ni kalau siram atas spageti ni sure trangkat punya!...so you agak2 la kan PH, ini macam kalu mau I tendang jer jeans tu, and 24/7 pakai kain pelekat boing boing boing - sampai boh eng! aiyaaa...makan salah tak makan lagi salah, gemok salah tak gemok belum tentu tak salah huh? so...kita makan dulu!

    PH, kalau I datang umah you, jangan sampai ponggong i ni tak muat pintu you sudah laa...
    neway thanks for sharing..i love mushroom...regret no halal bacon for me...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Q, kita orang pompuan ni selalu gaduh dengan mesin timbang. I pun nak ikut gaya you lah, biar mesin timbang titon sampai bila-bila. Kat rumah I suka pakai kain batik. Bila terasa sendat masa makan, boleh ejas. I pun ada setimbun jeans dari zaman muda-muda dulu. Jangan haraplah, boleh naik setakat peha sahaja. Sekarang ni I dah mula eksesais, mudah-mudahan badan boleh turun sikit. For this soup, you boleh pakai beef bacon ataupun sosej ayam pun sedap. Dan barli, pakai 1/2 cup pun dah cukup. Jangan banyak sangat sebab sup akan jadi teralu pekat.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...