Recipe by: Lorna Sass, Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure

18 minutes high pressure

2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
2 cups coarsely chopped onions or thinly sliced leeks (white and light green parts)
6 cups boiling vegetable stock, approximately
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced or quartered
Generous 1/2 cup (1/2 ounce) sliced dried mushrooms, soaked if necessary [shiitakes are great]
1 large carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 large celery ribs, diced
1 large bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons dried dill, approximately
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the water in the cooker. Cook the garlic and onions over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the stock, barley, fresh and dried mushrooms, carrots, celery, bay leaves, dill, and salt and pepper.

Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 18 minutes. Allow the pressure to come down naturally or use a quick-release method. (Set the cooker under cold running water if you experience any sputtering while quick-releasing the pressure.) Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.

Discard the bay leaves and add a bit more dried dill, salt, salt and pepper if the flavors need a boost. The soup will thicken considerably upon standing. Thin it to the desired consistency with additional vegetable stock.

Healthy tip we picked up along the way:

Many recipes call for a tablespoon or two of oil in the pressure cooker to prevent foaming, especially for beans. However, if you put a strip of kombu (dried seaweed you can get at most health food stores or Whole Foods), you’ll have no problem with the foaming and won’t need oil. (Just remove the kombu before you serve the dish.) The higher-end pressure cookers seem to do just fine, in our experience, even when you use no oil or kombu.

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