I'm becoming a little obsessed with putting eggs on top of things. Next up: Eggpaulets on all my jackets!
Aron, Janice, Joshua, me
Gouda and crackers
Spinach and apple salad
Vegetable barley soup with poached egg
Musical bottle of wine! This bottle made it through three Soupruary nights--originating with Janice, then travelling to Aron's, then back to my place--without being opened. Impressive.
Janice and I both worked all day today, from 7 a.m.!, so I was a little frazzled as I rushed to the grocery store and then home to soup it up. But every time I stress and think "What am I doing?"--I'm rewarded with a bowl of deliciousness and satisfaction, and I remember everything will always be alright.
Aron says this was his favorite Soupruary soup that he's tasted. We were all really full the rest of the night (which included Julie Hill's fabulous opening at Fabricate and an after party at Mayday)--this is the definition of one pot meal. Unless you count the pot you poach the eggs in. Darn it. We didn't really need crackers and cheese and salad--this soup was enough on its own.
I loved the chewy texture of the barley and mushrooms, the fun and fortified flavor of fire-roasted tomatoes, and the joy of poking the yolk of the poached egg and watching the bright orange mingle with with the reds and deep greens already present.
This soup has my seal of mega-approval.
Adapted from Gourmet, November 2007
1/2 a large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups pearled barley
8 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Large eggs--1 for each person you're serving
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Heat oil in your soup pot over medium, then cook onion and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, discard the shiitake stems and thinly slice the capscrosswise. Add mushrooms and thyme to onion and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with their juice, stock, barley, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer briskly, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook 1 minute, then check again for seasoning.
For eggs: Bring 2 quarts water to a simmer with vinegar and 1 tablespoon salt in a wide medium saucepan.
Break eggs into separate cups. Slide each egg into the water separately, spacing evenly. Poach at a bare simmer until whites are firm and yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon.
To serve: Ladle your soup into bowls and top each with a poached egg and grated Parmigiano Reggiano. MMMmmmmMMMMM.