I made a simpler version of my roasted mushroom barley soup with rich chicken stock instead of beef broth and a mixture of fresh and dried mushrooms. I used Roz’s Jewish Chicken Soup made with double the amount of bones and drippings. I save the bones and drippings from roast chicken in a container in the freezer, then boil them with the vegetables and herbs to create a rich broth. After letting it sit long enough for the fat to solidify, I spoon out the fat, leaving a spoonful for flavor. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan you can substitute Vegetable Broth
I use a variety of dried mushrooms, including porcini, shiitake, chanterelle, and some cheaper mushrooms I found at an Asian market. I soak them in warm water for ten minutes, then chop them and add to the broth, along with the soaking liquid.
Roasted fresh Crimini mushrooms make the bulk of the mushrooms in the soup. These brown mushrooms are a more mature version of the common white mushroom, so you can sub white mushrooms if you can’t find criminis in your grocery store.
I roasted fresh shiitake, king and oyster mushrooms. They stand up to roasting and add a variety of flavors and textures. You may be able to find them at your farmer’s market in the fall. You don’t need to buy too many of these more expensive but flavorful mushrooms. Feel free to mix up the mushrooms as you find them. King mushrooms can make some good food porn too, if your tastes run that kinky!
6 cups chicken broth
½ cup pearl barley
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp white pepper
several grinds black pepper
3 – 4 Tb olive oil
1 lb crimini (brown) mushrooms
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 fresh King mushroom
5 fresh oyster mushrooms
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
5 dried porcini mushrooms
5 dried chanterelle mushrooms
3 Tbs cooking sherry
½ to 1 tsp salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring broth to boil in a large pot over high heat.
While waiting for the broth to boil, soak the dried mushrooms in enough water to cover them by 2 inches.
Rinse and gently scrub the fresh mushrooms with a wet paper towel or mushroom brush and let them dry over paper towels.
When broth is boiling, Stir in barley, thyme and pepper.
Place fresh mushrooms in a roasting pan and toss with olive oil. until they are coated on all sides. Roast for 20 minutes. When they are done, let cool, then ladle a few cups broth over them, then remove the mushrooms to a cutting board and pour back the extra broth. Chop the mushrooms roughly and stir them into the broth.
Remove the dried mushrooms from the soaking liquid onto a cutting board. Dice them, then add to the soup along with the soaking liquid.
Simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Correct seasonings, stir sherry in and salt to taste.
Serve the pearl barley inside the oyster mushrooms for good luck!