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Prep 5 mins
Cook 45 mins
From Mark Bittman's book, "The Best Recipes in the World". This recipe has only a handful of ingredients. If it were anyone except Bittman, I'd be worried that it meant a paucity of taste. However, it is Bittman, so although I don't expect this to be strongly flavored, I do expect it to be good and comforting.
- Soak porcini in 3 cups of very hot water.
- Put olive oil in medium saucepan; turn heat to medium-high. Add shiitakes and carrots; cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add barley and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Remove porcini from liquid--do NOT discard the liquid. Sort thru and discard any hard bits. Add porcini to the pot. Cook, stirring for about 1 minute.
- Add bay leaf, mushroom liquid, and 3 cups additional water (or stock). Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook until barley is very tender, 20-30 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary, plus plenty of pepper.
- Serve hot or cover and refrigerate for up to a day before reheating, adding a little more water to thin the soup if necessary.