Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

From: Mark Bittman, New York Times columnist

Yield: 6 servings

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. fresh shiitake, cremini, portobello or button mushrooms, stemmed and slice or chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup pearled barley
as needed, salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
3 cups vegetable, chicken or beef stock, or water
1-2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Soak porcini mushrooms in 3 cups very hot water. When soft, strain through fine-mesh sieve; reserve soaking liquid. Chop porcini coarsely, discarding any hard bits.

Heat olive oil in soup pot over high heat. Add fresh mushrooms and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown. Add barley; cook, stirring frequently, until barley begins to brown. Sprinkle with a little salt and plenty of pepper.

Add porcini; cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add bay leaf, reserved soaking liquid and stock or water. Bring to a boil; lower heat. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes or until barley is very tender. Add soy sauce to taste.

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