What a Crock: Cream of Portobello Barley Soup

Sure, it's getting warmer outside, but I'm a firm believer that there's never really a bad time of year for a good bowl of soup. Let's see how this Cream of Portobello Barley turned out.

The rundown I think you'll find that most of the ingredients for this recipe already reside in your pantry or refrigerator. I made a quick trip to the store for some portobellos, barley and evaporated milk.

The taste This turned out to be a very nice, no-frills soup that's perfect for vegetarians. Just substitute vegetable stock for the beef broth, and you're good to go. I love cooking with sherry--an ingredient that heightens the taste of most soups. I chopped the portobellos up into much smaller pieces, which gave each spoonful that nice meaty texture. The barley seemed to work well. Finally, I tried to increase the flavor by substituting 2 percent evaporated milk for the skim.

The ease There's nothing difficult about this one. Saute your onions and mushrooms and then add to the crock pot. Dump in the remaining items, sans evaporated milk. Set on LOW for 8 hours, and walk away. Return, add the milk, let warm through, and eat.

The tip Please remember that a little bit of this soup goes a long way. There's a good portion of barley, and ¼ cup of this stuff represents 32 percent of your daily fiber intake. Translation... Welcome to Shitsville. Population: You.

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