It’s January so that makes it the perfect time for soup. Particularly the Beef, Barley and Portobello Mushroom Soup from renown chef Derek Bissonnette!

The front cover of a cookbook called Soup by Derek Bissonnette.

The cover of a great new cookbook

A pink soup bowl filled with beef, barley and Portobello Mushroom soup along with some good crusty sour dough and French butter

Dinner in a bowl along with some good crusty sour dough and French butter

I had the good fortune of connecting with Derek on Linkedin and was delighted when he sent me his new book to read and review. Derek, who had a thriving career as an chef, has retired from one career only to begin another as a photographer and cookbook author. Chef Bissonnette earned his culinary chops by attending the Culinary Institute of America and went on to become Executive Chef at The White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine. (I look forward to visiting with him when we travel to Maine!) Over the years he has worked as a pastry chef as well as a savory chef but grew in love with taking photos as much as he loved cooking.

A rustic pale green soup bowl filled with chicken, broth, ramen, two hard boiled egg halves and nori. A pair of red chopsticks is to the left of the bowl.

Five Spice Chicken and Ramen
Photo Credit: Derek Bissonnette

A tan soup mug filled with tomato soup and cheddar dumplings with shaved cheese and parsley garnish. The bowl sits on white wood planks with cheese shards, parsley and a soup spoon.

Cheddar Cheese Dumplings with Tomato Soup
Photo Credit: Derek Bissonnette

Side view of a cookbook called Soup by Derek Bissonnette sitting on a butcher block.

Yes. All of those tiny pieces of paper sticking out are to mark recipes I can’t wait to try. I think there are about 100 of them!

In his first book, Soup The Ultimate Book of Soups and Stews, Derek has created the most comprehensive tome on the subject that I have seen. There are over 300 recipes along with a gorgeous photo for almost every one. Photos that make you want to eat the page! I read the entire 800 page book while on vacation and bookmarked so many recipes to try that I think the book doubled in size.

On the left a food processor hold chopped carrots, celery, onion and garlic. On the right a colorful striped plate is topped with cubes of seared beef.

Beef seasoned and seared. Aromatics patiently waiting their turn in the hot tub.

The inside of an enameled cast iron Dutch oven with finely chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic cooking in red wine and olive oil.

The aromatics bubbling away with the wine.

An enameled cast iron Dutch oven with red handles filled with all of the ingredients of Beef, Barley and Portobello Mushroom soup.

Everyone’s in the hot tub!

An enameled cast iron Dutch oven with red handles filled with all of the ingredients of Beef, Barley and Portobello Mushroom soup that is cooked to perfection.

Cooked to perfection and ready for us to devour!

I chose the Beef, Barley and Portobello Mushroom Soup as my first recipe to try because it is one of my very favorite soups. I love soup you can chew! No thin watery broths for me. I need textural contrasts and lots of flavor. This soup delivered on all counts. In fact it was the very best of its kind that I have ever made. Truly the best one I have ever eaten in fact. Yes. It was that good!!! So good in fact that we ate it for dinner and I had it again the next day for lunch.  Happily I have enough put away in the freezer for another great dinner.

A square grey soup bowl filled with creamy beet soup garnished with sour cream swirls and dots that continue onto the wide rim of the soup bowl.

Chilled Cream of Beet Soup
Photo Credit: Derek Bissonnette

A striped soup bowl filled with cream of mushroom soup and pasta with a large display of cascading mushrooms in front of the bowl.

Cream of Mushroom Soup and Pasta
Photo Credit: Derek Bissonnette

I think Chef Daniel Boulud summed it up beautifully with his quote of the back cover of Soup. “With Chef Derek Bissonnette in your kitchen you have casual, approachable, and electric cooking. This book on soups will bring pure joy, warmth, and flavor to the table, and the beautiful photography will transport you to a dream workplace.”

Print

Beef, Barley and Portobello Mushroom Soup

A pink soup bowl filled with beef, barley and Portobello Mushroom soup along with some good crusty sour dough and French butter

This simple and easy soup is even better the next day, so be sure to make enough. I like to enjoy it with a serving of warmed cheese polenta.

  • Author: Chef Derek Bissonnette
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 3/4 pounds stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup red wine

1 garlic clove, minced

2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed and chopped

8 cups beef or veal stock

3/4 cup pearled barley

1 pound portobello mushrooms, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1.  In a large sauce pan, warm oil on medium-high heat.
  2. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes, or until evenly browned, remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  3. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
  4. Add the red wine, garlic and thyme and reduce by half.
  5. Add the seared beef, the stock and the barley and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  7. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes or until the beef is very tender.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and serve in warmed bowls.

Keywords: Beef, Barley and Portobello Mushroom Soup, soups, Chef Derek Bissonnette, entrees

Disclaimer: I was sent this book to review but the opinions are 100% my own.