Every time I eat a bowl of this easy-to-prepare mushroom barley soup, I ask myself the same question: How can this be so delicious? It’s one of those soup recipes that is perfect for an afternoon before a big family holiday or just as good paired with a salad and some crusty bread as a meal by itself.
- 3 cups very hot water
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½–1 pound mix of shiitake, cremini and/or button mushrooms, without stems and chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- Soak porcini in 3 cups hot water.
- Put olive oil in a medium saucepan and turn heat to high. Add mushrooms and carrots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown. Add barley, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown; sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Remove the porcini from their soaking liquid, and reserve liquid.
- Add porcini to pot and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add bay leaf, mushroom soaking water and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer; cook until barley is very tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add soy sauce, and taste. Add salt if necessary and plenty of pepper. Serve hot.
- Note: If soup becomes too thick, add some water and another tablespoon or two of soy sauce.