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Mushroom Bean Soup

3/4 pound young green beans or 10 oz package frozen cut beans
6 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
8 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup pearl barley
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
6 to 8 sliced mushrooms
or 1 4 oz can, drained
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup parsley, to garnish

If using fresh beans, trim the ends and line up on a cutting board
a handful at a time. Chop until beans are the size of peas. If
frozen, thaw and chop as above. In medium saucepan heat 6 tablespoons
butter until it foams, and add onion, garlic and celery. Cover
and cook for 8 minutes. Add the chopped beans and continue to
cook, covered, for an additional 10 minutes over medium-low heat.
Pour the chicken stock into the saucepan with the vegetables. Add
the barley and tarragon. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to
a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Meanwhile saute the mushrooms
in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat for 10 minutes. Set
aside. When the soup has cooked for 30 minutes minutes, transfer
the mushrooms to the saucepan . Simmer for 15 more minutes and
then remove from heat. Whisk together the flour and sour cream.

Beat 1 cup of the hot soup gradually into the sour cream. While
stirring, slowly pour the sour cream mixture back into the saucepan.
Serve hot with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.


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