A Little About Me

New York, New York
As a newly married woman, it has become my mission in life to learn how to cook. Gone are the days of picking up sushi and ordering curries. In order to jump-start my education, I enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education's Fine Cooking I course where I learned the basics, from roasting to boiling to mousse-making (ok, maybe not that basic)! I've attempted to replicate some recipes - somewhat successfully- and create a few of my own. This blog is for friends and foodies and is intended to document my cooking adventures (and occasional fiascoes). Enjoy the pictures and bon appetite!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A New Entry for the New Year: Mushroom Barley Soup

Honestly, I gave up on Cooking with Kessner for a while. Life has been soooo busy with two toddlers running around, I usually collapse into bed at the end of the day, tired, covered in (non-toxic) paint and looking forward to doing absolutely nothing for the first time since waking up.  

Though I haven't done much cooking, the start of a new year has inspired me get back into the kitchen, make delicious meals for not only my husband, but twin daughters, who love to eat just about anything I put in front of them. (Seriously, I never thought babies would like salmon patties and buckwheat soba noodles!)

Thought it's been a while, I've decided to resurrect this blog, especially after several friends and family members have asked me for recipes lately. I made a super delicious mushroom barley soup this week, which, in all honestly was so thick it was more like a delicious healthy risotto than a watery soup. I didn't take a lot of pics for this one, but I promised a friend I'd get the recipe up tonight so she could make it tomorrow, so here goes:

1 quart mushroom broth
1 quart vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 10oz container prepackaged barley
1/2 cup marsala wine
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
1/2 pound white button mushrooms
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms
1 cup swiss chard (or kale) shredded
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil

Start by tossing the garlic, butter and olive oil into a large pot and turning the heat to medium. When sizzling, add the onions and sautee for five minutes, stirring frequently. Next, toss in all the mushrooms and keep stirring them for another 5-7 minutes, then add the marsala wine to deglaze, making sure to scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.

Add the package of barley as well as the chopped greens and mix everything together to make sure the barley is coated by all the liquid goodness. Next, add the quart of mushroom broth and the cup of water. Bring to a boil.

 Lower the heat and let it simmer on low, stirring every now and then, until all the liquid has been absorbed by the barley. When it has been, go adding the vegetable broth until the barley has changed from hard to somewhat mushy.  You might not need the entire quart of vegetable broth, but it's good to have just in case. Finally, season with salt and pepper to your liking!

I served the soup with some toasted garlic bread rounds (slice a baguette, spread on some butter, sprinkle with salt and diced garlic then toast for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees) .

Hope you enjoy this and all the recipes to come! Happy New Year everyone :)