Mushroom and Barley Soup

Cooking Time: 1 hr 30min    Servings: 6-8

Products needed:

Wild Mushroom Infused Olive Oil


  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 c boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Scene Wild Mushroom Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced thick
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 3/4 c whole or pearl barley
  • 11/2 quarts chicken stock or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Parmesan rind
  • A bouquet garni made with a few sprigs each: thyme and parsley
  • 8 to 10 ounces kale (regular or cavolo nero), stemmed and washed thoroughly
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl or a Pyrex measuring cup, and pour on two cups boiling water.
  2. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Set a strainer over a bowl, and line it with cheesecloth.
  4. Lift the mushrooms from the water and squeeze over the strainer, then rinse in several changes of water.
  5. Squeeze out the water and set aside.
  6. Strain the soaking water through the cheesecloth-lined strainer.
  7. Add water as necessary to make two cups.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Heat the oil in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and add the onion.
  10. Cook, stirring often, until just about tender, about five minutes, and add the sliced fresh mushrooms.
  11. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are beginning to soften, about three minutes, and add the garlic and ½ tsp of salt. Continue to cook for about five minutes, until the mixture is juicy and fragrant. Add the reconstituted dried mushrooms, the barley, the bouquet garni, the bay leaf, the parmesan rind, the mushroom soaking liquid, and the stock or water. Salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes. 
  12. Meanwhile, stack the kale leaves in bunches and cut crosswise into slivers.
  13. Add the kale to the simmering soup, and continue to simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  14. The barley should be tender and the broth aromatic.
  15. The kale should be very tender.
  16. Remove the bouquet garni, bay leaf and Parmesan rind.
  17. Taste and adjust salt, add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper and serve.