Mushroom Cous-Cous Soup

September 1, 2009

The afternoon hope was to put together a simple Mushroom Barley soup while working on a paper. Under a terrible turn of fate, I burned the barely. In a desperate attempt to save the barley with ungodly amounts of fresh cracked pepper, the grinder’s top came off and I was left with a pot full of burned barely and whole peppercorns! Turning quickly to the pantry to find an answer to save the day, I found a box of cous-cous and decided to use my improvisational powers! The end product – a delicious, soul-satifying sort of soup for early autumn days.

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Mushroom Cous-Cous Soup

(makes 3 bowls of soup, easily doubled)

1 cup dry cous-cous
1 tablespoon of butter
1 small red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
about 6 oz. of mushrooms, sliced
salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons red wine
2 cups vegetable broth
fresh ground pepper
fresh parsley, if you please.

Melt butter in a skillet, or dutch oven. (You know that the better is ready when the foaming subsides). Add onions and saute for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is melty tender – about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and wine, and simmer on low, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.

While the liquid is cooking off a bit, prepare your cous cous.

Once the cous cous is ready and the mushrooms look delightfully cooked down, add about 2 cups of broth to the skillet with the mushroom mixture. Simmer for a minute or two, grind in some black pepper. Add to cous cous, correct seasonings, and serve with a parsley leaf. (If you want more of a brothy soup, simply add more broth.)

(A word on broth:: For the sake of convenience, I keep a few boxes of Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon cubes around. Simply add them to boiling water, and voila! a delicious vegetable flavor base for your soups, stews and such. For this soup I used the Vegan Vegetable Bouillon with Sea Salt and Herbs.)

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