root vegetable and barley soup with bacon

Makes 13 cups;
serves 6 to 8
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
2 medium cloves of garlic
K kosher salt
4 slices bacon, halved
2 medium red onions,
2 small bay leaves
3/4 tsp. caraway seeds
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts homemade or lower-salt
chicken broth
5 medium carrots, peeled and
cut into small dice
2 medium purple-top turnips,
peeled and cut into small
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes,
peeled and cut into
small dice
3/4 cup pearl barley, picked
over, rinsed, and drained
4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

If you store this for more than
a day, the barley will absorb
some of the liquid and you’ll
need to thin the soup with a
little water when you reheat it.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator
for up to 2 days.
1. In a small bowl, soak the
mushrooms in 1 cup of boiling water for 20 minutes. Remove the
mushrooms and pour the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer to
remove any grit. Reserve the liquid. Rinse the mushrooms, chop them,
and set them aside.
2. Chop the garlic, and 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. Cook the bacon in a 6-quart (or larger) Dutch oven over medium
heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined
plate set aside, and crumble when cool.
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,
reserved mushroom liquid, chicken broth, carrots, turnips,
potatoes, barley, and 11/2 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. Discard the bay leaves, add the lemon juice, and season
with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with crumbled bacon.

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