3 qtchicken, beef or mushroom stock
1-1/4 cpearl barley, uncooked
6dried shitake mushrooms
1/4 cextra virgin olive oil
1large onion, chopped
1 cchopped celery, including leaves
1 cpeeled and chopped carrots
2cloves, crushed garlic
1 lbwhite mushrooms, scrubbed and sliced
·salt and pepper to taste
How to Make Mushroom Barley Soup
- Pour chicken, beef or mushroom stock into a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
Stir in the barley, add the bay leaves, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered.
Cook for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
While the soup simmers, place the dried mushrooms in a separate small saucepan.
Add 3 cups water to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
As soon as the water boils. remove saucepan from heat and let the mushrooms soak for 20 minutes.
Drain the mushroom water by straining it through a coffee filter or cheesecloth (use a mesh strainer to hold the filter or cheesecloth)
Reserve the mushroom water.
Chop the soaked, softened mushrooms into small pieces and reserve.
- Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion to the skillet and saute until softened.
Add the celery and carrots and saute for 5 more minutes till everything is browning and starting to caramelize.
Add the soaked, chopped dried mushroom pieces and crushed garlic, saute 2 minutes more.
Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet.
Pour the strained mushroom broth into the skillet, bring to a boil, stir.
Cook for 2 more minutes until mixture is hot and bubbly.
Add the contents of the skillet to the simmering stockpot with the broth and barley.
- Without rinsing the skillet, heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium high heat.
Spread half of the sliced white mushrooms in a single layer at the bottom of the skillet.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn heat to high.
Let the mushrooms sear without stirring.
After 2 minutes, stir the mushrooms continuously for another 1-2 minutes until they are golden brown and shrink to half their size.
Pour the seared mushrooms into the soup pot.
Heat the last 1 tbsp. of olive oil in the skillet and repeat the process for the remaining ingredients.
Add the rest of the seared mushrooms to the soup pot, stir to blend the ingredients.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer.
Let the soup cook, uncovered until 2 hours and 15 minutes are up, or until the barley is completely tender and the soup is thickened.
Add water during the simmer if soup becomes overly thick.
At the end of cooking, season with salt and pepper.