Wild Mushroom & Barley Soup

Serves 6


1 1/2 oz dried wild mushrooms, such as morels, porcini or shitake

3 TBLE olive oil

4 oz pancetta, diced (I had short ribs in freezer and used one… it was delicious)

3 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)

2 cups chopped carrots (3-4 carrots)

2 cups chopped celery (3-4 stalks)

4 teas minced garlic (4 cloves)

3/4 cup pearled barley (or farro)

12 oz fresh cremini mushrooms (baby bella worked fine too) sliced to1/4 inch –pat with moist paper towel to clean and remove stems

1/2 cup plus 2 TBLE dry Marsala wine, divided

4 cups broth (I used chicken… original recipe called for beef)

3 large sprigs fresh thyme, tied together in kitchen twine

K salt and pepper

1/4 cup chopped parsley


  1. Place the dried mushrooms and 6 cups of water in medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for at least 20 minutes
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta, onions, carrots, and celery and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender. Add the garlic and barley and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fresh mushrooms and the 1/2 cup Marsala and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms have released some of their juices.
  3. Meanwhile strain the dried mushrooms, saving liquid. Chop mushrooms and add them to the pot, along with soaking liquid, broth, thyme 2 teaspoons salt, and teaspoon pepper.
  4. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes, until barley is tender. Discard thyme. If you like, thicken using a few seconds of immersion blender.
  5. If you feel the need, simmer for a few minutes adding 2 more TBLE Marsala. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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