½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 2 cups warm water
8 cups Savory Potato Broth
½ teaspoon salt, or more, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup barley, rinsed
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
Lift the porcini out of the soaking water, squeeze dry (saving the water) and chop into small pieces. Strain the soaking water and pour it into the broth. Bring to a boil. Stir in salt and several grinds of pepper, the barley, chopped porcini and sliced mushrooms and return to a steady perking boil. Cover and cook for about 35 minutes or longer, until the barley and the mushrooms are tender to the bite-uncover the pot near the end of cooking to thicken the soup if you want. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve hot in warm bowls, with freshly grated cheese, extra-virgin olive oil and other garnishes.