Mushroom and Barley Soup Using Fresh, Frozen and Dry Mushrooms

Mushroom soup is probably one of the most hearty soups. It’s so rich and flavorful. For this variety, I decided to REALLY oomph up the flavor by using three different types of mushrooms – fresh, frozen and dry. When I first discovered frozen porcini mushrooms at Trader Joe’s, I was thrilled. Now I always have several packages in my freezer, adding the mushrooms to all sorts of delicious meals, such as Pan-Fried Potatoes (Zarenaya Kartoshka) and adding them to stews, braises, and gravies. Porcini mushrooms probably have one of the strongest mushroom flavors.  This is why I also add another dimension of mushroom flavor by using dry mushrooms too, either porcini mushrooms or chanterelle mushrooms. (I order dry mushrooms from nuts. com.)

The creamy, luscious broth, the potatoes, bacon, onion, and mushrooms cook together to make a very cozy and satisfying meal. Served with some tangy sour cream and fresh herbs, all you need is a slice of bread and you’ll have a complete meal. Leftovers are amazing, by the way. 

Ingredients:

10 oz fresh mushrooms

8 oz frozen porcini mushrooms (if you can’t find them, substitute more fresh mushrooms), thawed

1/4 cup dry mushrooms, (porcini, chanterelle)

4 strips bacon, cut into small pieces (lardons)

1 Tablespoon butter or oil

1 onion, chopped

1/3 cup pearled barley

3 potatoes, chopped

8 cups water

1/4 cup heavy cream

sour cream, optional, for serving

1-2 Tablespoons fresh herbs (dill, parsley, green onions)

Instructions:

Prep the mushrooms. Wash and slice the fresh mushrooms. Thaw and clean the frozen porcini mushrooms. (I buy these mushrooms at Trader Joe’s. If you can’t find them, just use more fresh mushrooms instead. Pour boiling water over the dry mushrooms, letting them steep for 5-10 minutes, then clean them, discarding all the sand and grit on the bottom of the bowl that they were steeping in.

In a large pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon on medium heat until it’s golden and crisp. Spoon out the cooked bacon, letting it drain on a paper towel.

Pour off all the excess bacon grease, leaving 1 -1 1/2 Tablespoons of the bacon grease in the dutch oven.

Add the fresh and frozen mushrooms to the dutch oven, cooking on high heat for about 8 minutes. At first, the mushrooms will exude a lot of liquid, but then the liquid will get absorbed and cook off and the mushrooms will start to brown. Set the sauteed mushrooms aside, alongside the bacon.

Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter or oil in the same dutch oven, adding the onion, season with salt and ground black pepper and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until the onions soften.

Add the dry mushrooms, potatoes, and barley to the soup, as well as the water. (You can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth, if you’d like, instead of the water.) I just used water, because the abundance of mushrooms gives the soup such a rich flavor, I don’t think it needs the broth. If you don’t like barley, you can use brown or white rice instead. (If you’re going to use white rice, don’t add it to the soup until the last 10 minutes of cooking.)

Season the soup to taste with salt and ground black pepper, and then bring it to a boil, over high heat and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the barley, potatoes, and dry mushrooms are completely cooked through, about 30-40 minutes. Add the sauteed mushrooms to the soup.

Pour in the heavy cream and garnish with the cooked bacon and the fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley and/or green onion.

Serve with additional sour cream, if you’d like. 

Mushroom and Barley Soup Using Fresh, Frozen and Dry Mushrooms
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soups
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 10 oz fresh mushrooms
  • 8 oz frozen porcini mushrooms (if you can't find them, substitute more fresh mushrooms), thawed
  • ¼ cup dry mushrooms, (porcini, chanterelle)
  • 4 strips bacon, cut into small pieces (lardons)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ⅓ cup pearled barley
  • 3 potatoes, chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • sour cream, optional, for serving
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh herbs (dill, parsley, green onions)
Instructions
  1. Prep the mushrooms. Wash and slice the fresh mushrooms. Thaw and clean the frozen porcini mushrooms. (I buy these mushrooms at Trader Joe's. If you can't find them, just use more fresh mushrooms instead. Pour boiling water over the dry mushrooms, letting them steep for 5-10 minutes, then clean them, discarding all the sand and grit on the bottom of the bowl that they were steeping in.
  2. In a large pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon on medium heat until it's golden and crisp. Spoon out the cooked bacon, letting it drain on a paper towel.
  3. Pour off all the excess bacon grease, leaving 1 -1½ Tablespoons of the bacon grease in the dutch oven.
  4. Add the fresh and frozen mushrooms to the dutch oven, cooking on high heat for about 8 minutes. At first, the mushrooms will exude a lot of liquid, but then the liquid will get absorbed and cook off and the mushrooms will start to brown. Set the sauteed mushrooms aside, alongside the cooked bacon.
  5. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter or oil in the dutch oven, then add the onion, season with salt and ground black pepper and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until the onions soften.
  6. Add the dry mushrooms, potatoes, and barley to the soup, as well as the water. (You can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth, if you'd like, instead of the water.) I just used water, because the abundance of mushrooms gives the soup such a rich flavor, I don't think it needs the broth. Season the soup to taste with salt and ground black pepper, and then bring it to a boil, over high heat and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the barley, potatoes, and dry mushrooms are completely cooked through, about 30-40 minutes. Add the sauteed mushrooms to the soup.
  7. Add the heavy cream and garnish with the cooked bacon and fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley and/or green onion.
  8. Serve with additional sour cream, if you'd like.

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