Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Frugan: Mushroom Barley Chickpea Soup and Polenta

I had some mushrooms leftover from our Christmas dinner and we were expecting a blizzard, which of course made me think of having a hearty soup simmering on the stove.

I used to hate mushrooms growing up. I don't think I developed a taste for them until I was in my early 20's and my X insisted on topping pizza with them. Now I love them. As a side note, I also hated cilantro until I was 19 and pregnant and all of a sudden I couldn't get enough of it.

Mushroom Barley Soup with Chickpeas
  • 2 T olive oil or Earth Balance
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • Heaping  ½  t poultry seasoning
  • Heaping ¼ t smoked paprika
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 t Tony’s Cajun seasoning
  • 2 c chopped mushrooms
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 c chickpeas and their liquid
  • 5 c water
  • 2 T Dijon
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • ½ c barley
  • 1 c chopped green beans (optional )
  • 1 c chopped parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 c Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 1 T fresh Thyme ( if you have it )
  1. Over medium heat in a heavy bottom soup pot, place dried spices in oil, add the onion, garlic, carrot, Tony’s and mushrooms.
  2.  Sauté for 10 minutes. 
  3. De-glaze with vinegar. Add chickpeas, water, Dijon, yeast and barley
  4. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat down to simmer 
  5. Cook for 30 minutes
  6. Stir in parsley, green beans, yeast, soy and thyme
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning
Yesterday, it was frigid. The wind was howling and again, I was craving something warming. I had some soup leftover and figured it would go really well over some soft poletna. I was right! I added some TVP and a potato that needed to be used and it became a delicious, stick to your ribs meal. 

I think that I'm going to experiment with some breakfast polenta puddings using my bean milk. Organic, whole grain cornmeal is affordable and available in the bulk sections in your health food store or supermarket.

Stay tuned for a big Black Eyed Pea post either later today or tomorrow! I always eat Beans and Greens for the New Year. This years menu is going to be Cajun Black Eyed Pea stew and Collards. Yum! 


  1. That soup looks so comfy and perfect for the 30 inches of snow we have on the ground here! LOL

  2. Everything looks good! I like the idea below of using mango with cardamom! I am following your blog now! Come check me out when you have time :)

  3. Another fabulous barley soup recipe. I need barley. STAT. I'm very anxious for the black-eyed peas/collard recipe. Two of my favorite foods!

  4. It's funny how our tastes can change over time. I'm still waiting to like fennel, but it might be too late at this point. :D

    We recently tested a barley soup for Urban Vegan, and it was so good. I love the way barley remains chewy after it's cooked. Your soup sounds excellent.

    Polenta is my idea of the perfect comfort food — I love it so much I don't think I could ever get tired of it.

  5. great soup! i really like how you dont use a soup stock. yesteray at the store i almost bought a veg soup stock base, i just felt like nothing i was doing in my soups was giving me as much flavor as i would want. so 1/4 cup nut yeast? ill pile it on next time:)

    that cilantro side note! so funny! how odd that you would hate he stuf than all of a sudden! you have to have it! cute story:)your first was a boy right? your cilantro baby boy:)

  6. The barley soup sounds wonderful...and leftover with polenta? Heaven! This is on my to-make-soon list.

  7. why is polenta so expensive if its so easy to make??so annoying.
    hey i jsut saw the comment you left me about how you know another person with a duck...why havent you told me before!! that is so neat! thats like meeting another vegan! lilly tried to do volunteering but to get evaluated we would need to go almost two hours away, pay a fee for that then a fee to join etc. the joining fee would be fine since its for insurance but i dont know about the rest..and they never call me is she (your friend) on facebook? i mean maybe im friends with her on there already!!thanks for letting me know!

  8. DD, polenta is really cheap! I use plain, whole grain cornmeal and cook it up like a cream of wheat. I'll blog my recipe for both soft and firm polenta. I'm going to see if my friend is on facebook!