Thoughtless Thursday: Beef Barley Porcini Soup

A cold front is passing through and that’s got me craving soup.  Because we are in an anti poultry mood post Thanksgiving, I opted for a beef based soup.  Ordinarily I would use beef stock for this soup, but as I was out and I really hate cooking with just plain water (as it tends to result in flavorless, bland, boring soup), I opted to break out the reserved dried porcinis and steep those.  There is very little I love more than the flavor of porcini mushrooms.  And since Kroger has actually started carrying them (color me shocked), I can have them more than once or twice a year.  Who knew?  The rest of this soup was an effort to use up assorted odds and ends in the vegetable drawer.  It’s very healthful at 276 calories and 4.8 grams of fat per serving (serves 5).  I’m offering this up to Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday.


  • 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2 red potatoes, skin on, diced
  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pound beef, your choice (I used a couple of New York strips, trimmed of fat), cubed


  1. In a very large bowl (or actually, I guess you could use your crock), add the dried mushrooms, broken into small pieces, and cover with very hot water (at least 4 cups).  Allow to steep for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, chop all your assorted other ingredients.
  3. After the mushrooms have steeped (your liquid should look like a sort of brownish tea), add all other ingredients.
  4. If necessary, add more liquid (water, chicken or beef stock).
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4.
  6. Serve with a good crusty bread.

Printable version.

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