» Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, page 223. — Outstanding.
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Barley Soup with Carmelized Onions and Pecorino Cheese - Updated
This soup has been a staple in our household for years. Not an everyday soup - it's far too rich (and time-consuming) for that. But once or twice every year, when a cold wind is blowing, I make this soup, and it is delicious. For maximum flavor, use Ms. Madison's stock or mine; and be sure to include the dried mushrooms (I often substitute shitake for the porcini) to give it a real umami punch. To make it extra toothsome, I use unpearled barley (available at a natural foods store), and I only use 2 onions - I find the 3rd is unnecessary.
Because you caramelize the onions, allow 2 hours to prepare this soup. If you are a vegetarian, this might be a good choice to serve to your meat-eating friends.
For a different, but also delicious soup you can use the variation I used for years: cook the onion until very soft, but don't caramelize them; use water instead of stock; omit the dried mushrooms; and use unpearled barley. It is not nearly as umami-rich as the original version, but it is still very good. (Originally published 6/2006) [ 09.09.10 ]