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Be sure to use a good quality (or homemade) stock for this soup for best flavor. If you have to use broth or bouillon cubes, add some celery and carrots, at least, to better flavor the broth (add the carrots and celery with the onions in the recipe).
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms or 1 lb mixed mushrooms, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch kale, stemmed and shredded
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 32 ounces chicken stock (4 cups) or 32 ounces vegetable stock (4 cups)
- 1⁄4 cup dried porcini mushrooms or 1⁄4 cup mixed wild mushroom
- pecorino romano cheese, shaved for garnish
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and cook the barley until just tender, about 20 to 22 minutes; drain and reserve.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a soup pot, over medium high heat, and add the mushrooms and cook until browned; add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are soft, about 12 to 15 minutes.
- Add the kle and cook until wilted; season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Stir in the stock, 2 cups water, and dried mushrooms; bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and cook until the dried mushrooms are tender, about 7 or 8 minutes.
- Stir in the reserved barley and heat through.
- Serve in shallow bowls with shaved cheese on top.