This is a vegetarian soup. If you want the soup to complement a meat entrée, you can substitute chicken or beef broth for the water.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 6
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 large sweet onion, peeled, halved, and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 portobello mushroom cap, diced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 bay leaf
½ cup pearl barley
6 cups water
Optional: 2 tablespoons vermouth or brandy
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Melt the butter and bring the oil to temperature in the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the celery and carrot; sauté for 2 minutes. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes or until the onion is soft and transparent. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms; sauté for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms release their moisture and the onion begins to turn golden.
Stir in the bay leaf, barley, water, and vermouth or brandy (if using). Lock the lid into place and bring to high pressure; maintain pressure for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow pressure to release naturally.
Remove the lid. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Serve.