I felt ill all day. I knew I couldn't just up and leave my externship and come home and get into bed, although that was what I desperately wanted to do. I also knew that all I needed was a good rest and some soup. So what did I do? I created the ultimate fall stew.
The recipe I give below is super easy. The entire process requires very little tending-to time once you've chopped all your veggies. The stew turned out great. It wasn't too thick, there was enough broth to coat my aching throat, and although it is chunky in texture, there wasn't too much I really had to chew (which was perfect, because I just was not in the mood to chew!).
Also, I realized when I was putting the leftovers away that this stew looked like fall. Orange carrots, pale yellow parsnips, white potatoes, brown broth reminded me of the season we are in now (although I say it feels more like winter). The recipe here will serve 6, or 1 or 2 with leftovers for lunch!
Fall Mushroom Stew
2 c + 8 c water or stock (I use both)
1 1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 1/2 T unsalted butter
1 lb sliced button mushrooms
1 leek, white part sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
3 parsnips, sliced
2-4 bay leaves
2 potatoes, chopped
1 c rinsed barley
2 T soy sauce
black pepper and salt to taste
Heat 2 c water or stock to boil. Pour liquid over dried mushrooms in a small bowl. Let sit 20 min. Meanwhile, melt butter in a pot. Add sliced fresh mushrooms and cook, on medium-low heat, until they've released liquid and are cooking down. After about 10 min, add the rest of the ingredients through bay leaves, including the rehydrated mushrooms and their soaking water and the rest of the 8 c water or stock. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 min. Add potatoes and barley, and simmer until both are done, about 30. Add soy sauce and season with salt and pepper, to taste.