Porcini Barley Soup with Sherry

This is my favorite soup growing up. Porcini mushrooms, prized in Russian cooking for their immense flavor, take center stage here. I've taken my family recipe and swapped out some onions for shallot's more mellow taste. I added some thyme to highlight the mushroom flavor even further, and finally, to give this already complex-tasting soup even more depth, I cooked some sherry into the mushrooms, letting the alcohol evaporate before adding other soup ingredients. It was my best version yet, one that I will share with my family and friends and be making for years to come. After some tweaks, my favorite soup is even better than before.
  • Yield: Serves 8.
Share This Recipe

Ingredients

1 cup (1 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms

1/4 cup unsalted butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

6 small shallots, finely chopped

1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves separated from stem

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup sherry

2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup pearled barley

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

3/4 pound potatoes, peeled and diced

Sour cream, for serving

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, pour 2 cups boiling water over the mushrooms and allow to infuse 1 hour. Strain over a sieve, pressing out solids; reserve the liquid.
  2. In a large stockpot, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and warm the 3 tablespoons olive oil. Sweat the onion, shallots, and thyme for 10 minutes until softened and light golden. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. 
  3. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the reserved mushrooms to the pot, and cook 5 minutes. Add sherry and cook, stirring, 3 minutes, until mostly evaporated. Add the mushroom-infused liquid, chicken stock, barley, salt, and pepper. Cover, and simmer on low heat 1 hour. 
  4. Add the potatoes, raise the heat to medium, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Serve as is, or with a dollop of sour cream, if you like.

Fudge Factor

Train Frontman Pat Monahan's Dark Chocolate Obsession Feb 11, 2013

By: Cameron Curtis

Train frontman Pat Monahan, an avid chocolate lover, shared with us his top five reasons for eating dark chocolate.

The Craziest Chocolate Creations for American Chocolate Week Mar 17, 2013

It’s officially American Chocolate Week. Check out photos of mind-blowing chocolate creations.

Sifted: Plan-Ahead Valentine's Day Desserts Feb 6, 2013

By: Lauren Miyashiro

Get our take on the best in food news, recipes and more from around the web, including the best Valentine's Day recipes.

Over-the-Top-Delicious Treats to Satisfy Your Food Obsession

Are you infatuated with ice cream? Do you lust over lobster? Swoon at the sight of chocolate? Here's the best recipe for each food …

Review: Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert's Chocolate Bar Nov 16, 2012

Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert have teamed up with master chocolatier Christopher Curtin to create the "Good & Evil" chocolate b …

Chocolate Desserts

Indulge in our decadent chocolate desserts, from cookies and cakes to puddings, souffles and truffles.

Essentials: Chocolate Basics Sep 1, 2016

Satisfy that chocolate craving in your very own kitchen. All you need is baking chocolate and a little know-how. It also helps to …