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Mushroom and Barley Soup

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1 1-ounce package dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, and sliced
8 cups beef stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup barley, rinsed
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

Add dried mushrooms to a bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water. Soak, submerged with a small plate, for 20 minutes. Squeeze liquid from mushrooms and slice. Reserve liquid and strain.

Warm oil in a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until their liquid releases, about 5 minutes. Add beef stock, thyme, reserved mushroom liquid, and reconstituted porcini. Bring to a boil. Add barley and reduce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until barley is tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chopped parsley before serving.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

 

- Joseph Erdos

 

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