Mushroom Barley Soup

Mushroom Barley Soup

YIELD: 6 servings

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 lb. fresh shiitake, cremini, Portobello, or button mushrooms, stemmed and sliced or chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup pearled barley
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bay leaf
3 cups vegetable, chicken or beef stock, or water
1 to 2 Tbsps. Kikkoman Soy Sauce (less sodium version can be substituted)

1. Soak porcini mushrooms in 3 cups very hot water. When soft, strain through fine-mesh sieve; reserve soaking liquid. Chop porcini coarsely, discarding any hard bits.

2. Heat olive oil in soup pot over high heat. Add fresh mushrooms and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown.

3. Add barley; cook, stirring frequently, until barley begins to brown. Sprinkle with a little salt and plenty of pepper.

4. Add porcini; cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add bay leaf, reserved soaking liquid and stock or water. Bring to a boil; lower heat. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until barley is very tender. Add Kikkoman Soy Sauce (or less sodium version) to taste.

Recipe: Chef Mark Bittman, columnist, New York Times. Photo: Kikkoman Sales USA, Inc.