Thursday, March 11, 2010

Barley Stew with Leeks, Mushrooms and Greens

I've been trying to make some type of homemade soup or stew every week for a while now - usually vegetarian too. This is because I'm trying to eat healthier and soups/stews are a great way to play with new grains and vegetables. And it's nice to take for lunch once or twice during the week or else just have around the house for a night when I don't feel like cooking. I love the classic barley and mushroom combo and this stew is a traditional take on those flavors.

Barley Stew with Leeks, Mushrooms and Greens
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped leeks (about 2 small stalks; white and pale green parts only)
1 8-ounce container sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup pearl barley
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1 bunch kale (about 8 ounces), trimmed, center stalks removed, leaves coarsely chopped (about 8 cups packed)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leeks; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until leeks begin to soften, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and rosemary; increase heat to medium-high and sauté until mushrooms soften and begin to brown, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice; stir 1 minute. Add barley and 4 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until barley is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Add kale; stir until wilted, about 1 minute. Cover and simmer until kale and barley are tender, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls as needed for desired stew consistency, about 10 minutes.

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