Barley

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I'm thinking of making a barley mushroom soup but I have never had barley before? Is it like a rice and do you cook like a rice?
 
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in short, yes. barley is a grain and cooks like any other grain and it makes BEER!:beer:

and mushroom barley soup is nummy! course it's winter and I am a soup fanatic.
 
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Barley is used quite a lot in Scottish soups and stews. It has also become trendy over the past few years to use it in upmarket restaurants in place of the ubiquitous puy lentils - as in 'served on a bed of barley'...!
 
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I love barley in soup. There's a soup here in the USA that's called "Scotch Broth" that's made with lamb, barley, veges and seasonings. I don't know if it's really "Scotch", but I love it.

Barley needs to cook longer than rice, at least for my taste. It adds texture more than anything else.
 
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Yes, Scotch broth really IS Scottish - made well, it's an exceptionally tasty soup - made badly it's a greasy, gloopy liquid
 
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Barley can absorb an amazing amount of liquid, more than rice. So if you want to cook it via the absorption method -- that is, add the grain to boiling water, cover, and simmer until tender -- you need to use a ratio of 3:1 by volume (3 cups water to 1 cup barley). And if you add some to soup, add a lot less than you think you'll need, because otherwise you might end up with soup-flavored barley sludge. :eek:

I love the chewy texture, and the flavor. I recently made some mushroom-barley soup using beef stock and mushroom soaking liquid. Good!!
 

phatch

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I'll often cook the barley separately in some stock, then add to the soup for serving. It continues to suck up broth if you store it in the soup as leftovers.

Makes an interesting pilaf in it's own right.
 
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Just used barley last week for the first time in a beef/tomato/barley soup. I put in more than I should have and it truly was like brothy barley sludge but the taste was great, I'll just use less next time. I learn through trial and error and this error was definitely tasty. It takes a lot longer for barley to cook than rice or pasta. Keep it at a low simmer rather than a hard boil or else it will cling to the bottom of your pot.
 
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porcini is a nice dried shroom to use in barley soup. you just need a small amount. Good with a hit of bourbon, lots of onion, bay, thyme, garlic....

*you can also toast barley prior to making the soup. Gives it a nuttier flavor.

I made an oxtail, porcini, barley soup last week.....went over very well.
 
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Thanks guys! Good to know about adding lots to a soup, will tend to become a sludge-like consistency. I always have a tendency to add more rice or pasta in a soup than there really should be because I just can't help myself....one of the best parts in a soup.
 
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How about the old favorite Baked Egg Barley and Mushrooms on a cold winter night. In NY if you had a Hassiddic Wedding ,if you did not have the barley , kasha and Kishka you were not officially married. I think BDL will verify this.
 
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Consider it verified although you've got some East coast yiddisheh cookers who were and are more into that scene than I, on the west coast, ever was. Most of what I know about that world was passed to me through my grandmothers.

Barley and kasha varnishkes. Life is good.

BDL
 
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When you get a chance try risottoing(sp?) it! Add some peas and a little cheese at the end Delish!
 
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How long does it take you to cook barley risotto?

I think pearl barley would be something like forty five minutes, while hulled would be more like twice that. Yes? No? Either way, it's a long time to stand over a pot stirring and adding stock.

That begs another question. How much stock do you use? There must be a huge amount of evaporation given the amount of time required.

BDL
 
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I used a cup of pearl barley and a 14 or 16 oz can of chicken broth and stirred non-stop for about 50min. I like my barey pretty chewey though. If you don't try more stock and more time. Totally worth the effort!!!
 
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I love barley, and mushroom barley soup is a favorite of mine. The other posters are spot-on but I'll offer one last bit of advice; where I live the stores carry "regular" barley and "quick cook" barley. The latter only takes about 20 minutes, and apparently is par roasted or something. Just be sure to adjust cooking time accordingly.
 
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I have never used barley before, but I decided to make an oxtail barley soup recently. I used a whole package of barley in the soup and realized at some point that it was WAAAAAAAY too much. I ended up straining out about 2/3 of what was in the dutch oven. Lesson learned...take it easy with the barley! It was really a nice addition, though.
 

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