Hearty mushroom barley soup (also known as krupnik) was a staple in Poland, Lithuania, and Ukraine before its journey with Ashkenazi Jews to becoming an American Jewish deli and home cooking mainstay. Some versions include meat, but this one lets mushrooms do the work with a little help from the modern addition of Worcestershire sauce (or soy sauce). Recipe from The Essential Jewish Cookbook.
1poundmixed fresh mushrooms, chopped into roughly ½-inch pieces, preferably a mix of shiitake and cremini/baby bella
4garlic cloves, minced
8cupswater or stock
1tablespoonWorcestershire or soy sauce
In a small bowl, cover the dried porcini mushrooms in the boiling water. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter, reserving the liquid. Rinse and chop the rehydrated mushrooms.
Heat a layer of oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until softened, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes.
Add in the fresh and rehydrated mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until mushrooms soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
Add the 8 cups of water or stock, the reserved mushroom liquid, Worcestershire or soy sauce, and barley. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low and simmer, partially covered, 50 to 60 minutes until the barley is tender, stirring occasionally.
Season to taste and serve hot.
For kosher observance with a meat meal, note that Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies.