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Cream of Mushroom & Barley Soup
1 h 15 m
“This sophisticated take on creamy mushroom soup is rich with earthy porcini mushrooms and has the added goodness of whole-grain barley.”
½ cup pearl barley
4½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or mushroom broth (see Shopping Tip), divided
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup minced shallots, (about 4 medium)
8 cups sliced white mushrooms, (about 20 ounces)
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry sherry, (see Ingredient Note)
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
¼ cup minced fresh chives
1Bring barley and 1½ cups broth to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
2Meanwhile, 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.
3Heat 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, stirring often, until they start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the porcinis, celery, sage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Add sherry and cook, stirring, until most of the sherry has evaporated, about 1 minute.
4Add the soaking liquid and the remaining 3 cups broth; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup has thickened, 18 to 22 minutes.
5Add the cooked barley and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes more. Stir in sour cream until incorporated. Garnish with chives.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare soup through Step 4. Cover and refrigerate the soup and cooked barley separately for up to 3 days. To serve, combine (Step 5) and reheat.
Shopping tip: Look for mushroom broth in aseptic containers in well-stocked supermarkets or natural-foods stores.
Ingredient note: Sherry is a type of fortified wine originally from southern Spain. Don't use the “cooking sherry” sold in many supermarkets—it can be surprisingly high in sodium. Instead, purchase dry sherry that's sold with other fortified wines in your wine or liquor store.