Mushroom, Black Bean and Barley Soup

Serves 2 People (as a main course, 4 people as a starter)

This recipe is an adaptation of this recipe on One Green Planet. The original recipe is unnecessarily fussy and needs a flavour contrast (provided by the addition of vegetarian wieners).

  1. In a big soup pot, heat the oil on medium high. Lower the heat and add the onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and celery,
  2. Add some salt, and the thyme, paprika and cumin,
  3. Sauté for 10 minutes to soften (stir frequently to prevent sticking),
  4. Add the diced tomatoes with their juices and the black beans and balsamic vinegar, and gently mix everything,
  5. Lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes, mixing from time to time,
  6. Mix the soup well and add the 2 cups of water,
  7. Raise the heat; when it starts to bubble, immediately reduce the heat, and allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes with lid half on, mixing regularly as it cooks,
  8. After 20 minutes of simmering, transfer about ¾ of the soup to a blender and blend until puréed and creamy,
  9. Transfer the purée back to the soup pot and mix well,
  10. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock and mix until integrated. Then add the ¼ cup of pearl barley and simmer with lid half on for 20 minutes until the barley is soft, stirring the soup occasionally,
  11. Add the Worcestershire sauce, Marmite, Tabasco, sliced wiener, salt and pepper to taste, and stir in,
  12. Simmer for 10 minutes (more if the barley is not soft),
  13. Take off heat, cover and allow the soup (or stew) to settle and cool for 10 minutes,
  14. Serve in bowls with crusty bread.