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Portabella Soup with Tomatoes and Barley

1/2 cup pearl barley
5 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms (Portabella, shiitake, morel, cepes)
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large pot, combine barley with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil,
reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan and saute onion,
garlic and celery over medium heat for 10 minutes. Separate
mushroom stems from caps, and add to vegetables with remaining 1
tablespoon oil. Saute 2 minutes, add sage and thyme, and continue
cooking for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

Chop tomatoes, reserving the juice and add both to the barley.
Stir in remaining 3 cups water, tomato paste, wine and mushroom
mixture. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer soup for
1 hour. Stir in salt and pepper, taste soup, and adjust seasonings.


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