This creamy, Polish mushroom soup transports me right back to my grandmother's house on Christmas Eve.
How totally glad are you that it’s soup season? It’s the only thing I absolutely love about cold weather, and since I’ve moved to Arizona, I find that my soup season is way too short. Not that I’m complaining – I’ll take hot weather and cold food for 9 months, and warm weather and warm food for 2 months. That still leaves one whole chilly month for soup, and folks -- it’s officially time to heat up the stockpot.
When I was young, my grandma always made Polish mushroom soup for Christmas Eve, and one of my biggest regrets is that I never asked her to write down her recipe. How I would love to open my cookbook to see her handwriting and make her soup… although, I’m sure my version would never taste quite the same, because hers was always made with real dried mushrooms that were mailed to her each year from Poland.
Well, I took a stab at recreating her recipe using dried Porcini and shitake mushrooms, as well as some fresh baby Bellas. Of course, I had to boost up the veggies with lots of carrots and celery, and to make it extra hearty, I added some barley (isn’t soup the most delicious way to get a mega-dose of veggies and grains?!).
The thing that makes this Polish Mushroom Soup – and not just mushroom barley soup is the sour cream and a little bit of fresh dill. Do. Not. Skip. This!
OK, so it’s not exactly the same as the one I had growing up, but it’s really good. And each slurp transports me right back to Christmas Eve at grandma’s house.
Polish Mushroom Soup with Barley
- 2 ounces dried mushrooms Porcini, Shitake, Morels, etc
- 1 medium onion minced
- 8 ounces baby Bella Crimini mushrooms, minced
- 4 large carrots peeled and diced
- 2 large celery stalks diced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 16 ounces mushroom broth reserved from soaking the dried mushrooms, or from a carton
- 32 ounces low salt chicken broth or vegetable
- ½ cup quick cooking barley
- 2 tablespoon fresh dill minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
- 1 cup sour cream
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- Rehydrate the dried mushrooms for about 30 minutes, in 2 cups of hot water. Drain them reserving the soaking liquid. Mince them and place them in a stock pot.
- Add the onion, fresh mushrooms, carrots and celery to the stockpot, along with the 4 tablespoons of olive oil, and saute the vegetables over medium-high heat for about 5 -7 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and stir to coat. Cook the vegetables for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the broths, and bring the soup to a boil.
- Reduce the eat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the barley, and simmer for another 10 minutes or until barley is softened. If you are using regular barley instead of quick cooking, it will take an extra 20 minutes or so.
- When barley is softened, add the herbs and remove from the heat.
- Place the sour cream in a measuring cup of bowl, and add 1 ladle of hot soup to the sour cream. Mix well to warm the sour cream, and add another ladle of soup.
- Add the warmed sour cream to the pot of soup and stir well to combine.
- Season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
What’s your favorite soup? Creamy or brothy?