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Weekend Recipe: Farmhouse Vegetable and Barley Soup

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A hearty bowl of vegetable soup isn't just for those feelings under the weather. It's a nice pick-me-up for the middle of any brisk day in order to warm you up from the inside. But America's Test Kitchen goes above and beyond the normal vegetable soup recipe. Their take on the soup classic isn't just a stewing up a few carrots, celery and potatoes. Instead, it's a heartier and serious meal that will leave you full.

Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen
Photo courtesy America's Test Kitchen

Farmhouse Vegetable and Barley Soup
Serve 6 to 8

1/8 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
8 sprigs fresh parsley plus 3 tablespoons chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2pounds leeks, white and light green parts sliced 1/2 inch thick and washed thoroughly
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons soy sauce
Salt and pepper
6 cups water
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped green cabbage
1 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Grind porcini with spice grinder until they resemble fine meal, 10 to 30 seconds. Measure out 2 teaspoons porcini powder. Reserve remainder for other use. Using kitchen twine, tie together parsley sprigs, thyme, and bay leaf.

Melt butter in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, celery, wine, soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and celery is softened, about 10 minutes.

Add water, broth, barley, porcini powder, herb bundle, and garlic. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes.

Add potatoes, turnip, and cabbage. Return to simmer and cook until barley, potatoes, turnip, and cabbage are tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and remove herb bundle. Stir in peas, lemon juice, and chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing Lemon-Thyme Butter separately.

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