Mushroom Barley Soup – The Peoples Choice

Don't you love how I am touting my soups.  I got to get it where I can.  Here is the peoples choice, Mushroom Barley Soup

5 carrots, sliced into small pieces
3 onions sliced into small pieces
2 shallots sliced
4 big leeks (white part only) sliced
6 celery stalks sliced into small pieces
2 lbs mixture of white and cremini mushrooms sliced thin
5 tbsp. flour
6 tbsp. butter
olive oil
4 cups very warm water
1 1/2 cup. pearl barley
8 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
16 cups chicken broth( swear and you could use vegetable to keep it vegetarian but i believe chicken has more flavor)

Put the porcinis in a large bowl and pour 4 cups of very warm water over the mushrooms and let that soak for about 45 minutes.

Take a large stock pot and add the butter and a few shots of olive oil and turn on high.  Once the butter is melted, add the carrots, celery, shallots, leeks and onions.  Saute for about 10 minutes or until everything is just turning brown.  The beginnings here are the key to a good soup.

Add the fresh sliced mushrooms, saute for another few minutes.  Add the flour and continue stirring for about 5 minutes.  At this point, the mixture will become much thicker. 

Add the chicken broth, bring to a boil.  While this is getting hot, deal with the porcinis.  I used a slotted spoon and took the porcinis out of the liquid and put them in a separate bowl.  Then I use a few layers of cheese cloth and strained the liquid into another bowl.  I cut up the porcinis a few times with a knife and then put them in a strainer, poured water over them a few times to get rid of the dirt. 

Once the mixture boils, add the mushroom water liquid.  Bring to a boil again and then add the porcinis and the pearl barley.  Bring to a boil again.  I tasted the soup at this point to see how much salt was needed.  Plenty was the answer.  More than I could imagine but I went with it.  Trust your taste buds.  If you had a particularly salty broth, this won't happen but my broth was obviously bland. 

Let this simmer for about 45 minutes or until the barley is done.

Voila… you now have the peoples choice. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Chris Ceppi

    Never be shy about touting the soups…I’ve always believed a well crafted soup delivers the best return for cooking time/effort invested. I’ll try the peoples choice this week – it sounds awesome. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Chris Ceppi

      Finally got a cold rainy Mushroom Barley day here in LA and made this soup. Really really good. My 5 and 3 year old boys even tucked in…Thanks again for this recipe, it now has a solid place in my soup rotation…

  2. views skewed

    So glad I stumbled upon your site. Not only do I agree with your politics, I LOVE your recipe selection and can not wait to try them. Especially your mushroom barley (my favorite) and your matzoh ball soup (never tried it with ginger!).Thanks again, and I’ve bookmarked your blog.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thank you.

  3. lou

    Hi Gotham Gal! Cool place this, found while checking out what Pier 94 is in NYC. I’m in Montreal, also lots to do here and it’s the weekend so gotta get moving. Will return here via Bookmark. Gotta say, I love mushrooms and I (used to) love barley — when Mom dealt with it… I can cook up a storm but never succeeded in making THE barley soup that I long for. The flavour I’m nostalgic for is less beef-tasting bouillon, more creamy, maybe from using water or chicken stock, or creamed corn. Whiter anyway than what I’ve found on the Net so far.I’m sure yours is delicious and I’ll try it. It looks more glutinous than what I want though. Maybe just an optical illusion? 🙂 See you later and congrats for this great blog! lou

  4. Dory

    Omigod! Made this soup tonight and it is truly awesome. Um, do you think I can freeze some (made double)?

    1. Gotham Gal

      Absolutely. Freeze away.