Try this sophisticated take on creamy mushroom soup that is rich with earthy porcini mushrooms and has the added goodness of whole-grain barley.
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or mushroom broth, divided
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups of boiling water
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup minced shallots
- 8 cups sliced white mushrooms
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry sherry (fortified wine originally from southern Spain. You can find dry sherry in liquor or wine store)
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
- Bring barley and 1 1/2 cups broth to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender for 30 to 35 minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, combine porcinis and boiling water in a medium bowl and soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Line a sieve with paper towels, set it over a bowl and pour in mushrooms and soaking liquid. Reserve the soaking liquid. Transfer the mushrooms to a cutting board and finely chop.
- Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened about 2 minutes. Add white mushrooms and cook until they start to brown.
- Add porcinis, celery, sage, salt and pepper. Cook until they begin to soften. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir until the flour is incorporated. Pour in sherry until most of the sherry has evaporated.
- Add the soaking liquid and the remaining 3 cups broth; increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup has thickened.
- Add the cooked barley and continue cooking until heated through. Stir in sour cream until incorporated.
- Garnish with chives and the soup is ready to serve.