This hearty meatless soup, known as zupa grzybowa in Polish, combines dried, reconstituted mushrooms with barley and sour cream for a satisfying dish. If made with vegetable stock, it's perfect for fasting, when no meat is allowed, like wigilia and Lent. This can be made without the barley and served with kluski instead.
Makes 6 generous servings of Polish Mushroom-Barley Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
- 4 ounces dried Polish or porcini mushrooms
- 3 1/2 cups hot water
- 3 quarts regular-strength beef, chicken or vegetable stock (the latter if fasting)
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Salt and pepper
- Sour cream for garnish (optional)
- Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
- Combine mushrooms and hot water in a large, heatproof bowl. Let stand 1 hour. With your fingers, work mushrooms to release any grit. Let stand until very pliable, about 1 hour longer.
- Lift mushrooms from liquid. Cut mushrooms into large pieces and set aside. Reserve bowl of soaking liquid.
- In a 5- to 6-quart pot, combine stock and chopped mushrooms. Pour reserved soaking liquid into pot, taking care not to disturb grit in bowl.
- Rinse and drain barley and add to pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until barley is tender to the bite, about 1 hour.
- Note: If making the soup ahead, at this point cool, cover and chill up to overnight. Reheat to simmering and proceed with the next step.
- In a medium bowl, mix sour cream with flour and temper by whisking in a little hot soup. Pour contents of bowl into hot soup, whisking constantly on medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Adjust seasonings.
- Remove from heat and ladle into warm bowls. Garnish with sour cream and parsley, if desired.