As Will says: “if you had told me five years ago that I would enjoy a recipe that involved mushrooms and bok choy, I wouldn’t have believed you” (I’m not too far off from this analysis myself). Well, we had the opportunity to try those particular ingredients with another recipe that came from Buzzfeed, one of Will’s favorite sites to peruse. This recipe actually came from the same article where we found our other bok choy recipe, Brown Rice Bowl with Ginger-Lime Chicken and Bok Choy. Thus, it made sense to buy the bok choy and try it all in the same week-that way if we didn’t like it, we would only have to deal with it for two dinners. Now obviously, we ended up enjoying it as I mentioned in the other bok choy post, and we had similar success with this recipe.

This recipe is another one of those that is good for a chilly evening at home, something we lack here in Florida. I cannot wait to move so we can return to these recipes when we have cold weather! And I’d love a bigger kitchen! But anyways, back to soup at hand. This was pretty simple because most of the ingredients don’t involve much prep work and you pretty much strategically throw everything in the pot to cook. And sometimes recipes like that are so wonderful when you’ve hit a slump in the middle of the week and are too tired to put a lot of effort in and maybe don’t care so much about what you’re eating, as long as food ends up in your body. This is a perfect recipe for those kinds of nights because it only has a handful of ingredients, but offers a fulfilling meal with nice flavor. I will comment though to say that the original recipe is called “Hot and Sour Mushroom and Barley Soup” but Will and I missed out on some of the hot part. I added sriracha, which if you are looking for a little extra flavor, is great. I believe Will added fish sauce to his, because he likes a saltier taste to food. Whatever works for each person!

Cooking Notes: Instead of using a can of beef broth, we stuck with our normal solution of using Better Than Bouillon beef stock mixed with water-it’s convenient because it’s always ready to go when you need it! We also used our new Dutch oven to cook this in, even though the recipe doesn’t specifically call for it.

Mushroom, Bok Choy and Barley Soup (adapted from Buzzfeed; serves 2 1/2-3)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
8-10 oz. mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup pearl barley
14-oz. can beef broth
2-3 heads of baby bok choy, sliced crosswise, 1/2 inch thick
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened and translucent: 5-6 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, season with S&P, and cook, stirring occasionally. Add 1-2 tbsp of water if the mushrooms begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, until their liquid is released, about 5-7 minutes. Add the barley and cook, stirring occasionally for about 1 minute, then stir in the beef broth and 2 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until the barley is tender, 30-40 minutes. Add the bok choy for the last 10 minutes of cooking to allow it to just get crisp/tender. Season with the lime juice to taste (about 1 tbsp at a time). Ladle into bowls and top with cilantro!

Recipe: Buzzfeed: Hot and Sour Barley and Mushroom Soup

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