Mushroom and Barley Soup
To stretch this recipe to 10 servings instead of 8, use all 10 cups of beef broth. Either way, the final result will be a rich soup that, when served along with a salad and a dinner roll or toasted whole grain bread, is a worthy main course.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 8–10
- 1 ounce dried porcini or oyster mushrooms
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup pearl barley
- ¼ cup butter
- 8–10 cups beef broth
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 10-ounce package cut frozen green beans, thawed
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- OPTIONAL: sour cream to taste
Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and pour the 1 cup of warm water over them. Set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
Add the 2 cups of water to a 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the barley; reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Stir in the butter.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid; dice the mushrooms and then stir them into the butter-barley mixture.
Add the broth, carrots, potatoes, celery, green beans, and parsley. Stir well to separate the grains of barley. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour, or until the barley is tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.
Or, If You Prefer
You can use the mushroom soaking liquid in place of some of the broth; just strain it first to remove any grit or sand from the mushrooms.