Rustic Root Vegetable Soup
The toothsome root veggies coupled with the wild rice and barley add a pleasant chewiness to the soup and enhances the earthiness of the root vegetables. Though the list appears long, it’s an easy, uncomplicated soup to make. It makes a large batch and can be frozen.
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, use all parts, rinsed and sliced
1 small to medium rutabaga, peeled (or pared with a knife) and cut into small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups chicken stock
4 carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
1 celery root (or 2 parsnips, if unavailable), peeled and cut into small dice
1/3 cup barley
1/3 cup wild rice (not the quick-cooking variety)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 to 4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- In a small bowl, soak porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain, but save the soaking water to add to the soup. Chop the mushrooms finely.
- In a soup pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the leek and rutabaga and cook until leeks are soft, another 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and sauté another 1 or 2 minutes. Mix in tomato paste.
- Add the chopped porcini and the soaking water (being careful to leave any grit at the bottom of the bowl), chicken stock, carrots, celery root (or parsnip), barley, wild rice, 1 teaspoon salt, and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until the barley and wild rice is tender, but not mushy, approximately 50 to 55 minutes. Stir in the parsley, and add additional salt to taste and some pepper.