Mushroom Barley Soup
It has been a very cold winter in Chicago and in other cities as well. Whenever my mother would prepare her mushroom barely soup, she would win people's hearts and warm their winter-chilled bones.
Her specialty was the anticipated centerpiece of her "soup parties." It also was my husband's favorite birthday gift that she would pack with dry ice and FedEx it to our home when we lived in New Jersey and California.
Below is my mother's recipe. I trust you will enjoy "Sylvia's Soup" as much as our family does!
Sylvia's Mushroom Barley Soup
2 Lbs. of brisket or stir fry meat.
Wash meat and place in soup pot. Bring meat to a slow boil. Remove meat and wash pot to remove scum.
Return meat to pot and add the following:
2 Marrow bones or 4 beef shank bones
4 Cups of mushrooms - a variety of types creates more flavor
1 Large onion
2 Cups of carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Cups of celery stalks, including leaves, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Celery root or bottom of celery bunch (remove before serving)
1 Large handful of fresh parsley (remove before serving)
½ Sweet potato
1 Clove garlic (with toothpick to remove later) or ¼ tsp. garlic powder
1½ Cups barley (rinsed)
Fill pot with water to cover the vegetables and meat. Cook slowly over low heat for several hours. The soup will thicken the longer it cooks, and you may need to add extra water. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Refrigerate overnight for the best taste and warm before serving.
"Mmm... mmm... good!"