A big savoury hit is headed your way the minute you start sauteeing the celery, onion, garlic and carrot to that golden goodness you know is going to be the very base of this gorgeous soup. Depth of flavour comes from both the fresh and dried mushrooms, and the hint of garden freshness is thanks to the parsley added right at the end (I’m not averse to a squirt of lemon over the top either…).
The whole “hug in a bowl” thing is extremely overdone, but it describes this soup perfectly. It is what it is!!
In a large dutch oven, saute the onion, celery, carrot, mushroom and parsnip in the butter over medium heat until golden.
Add the barley, bay leaf, thyme, stock, one handful of parsley and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn the heat down low and simmer at least 30 minutes for the flavours to meld and the barley to cook through and be soft and chewy. Adjust the timing for the barley as needed - you may need longer. Adjust also your liquid to your liking.
When all is cooked, you may puree part of the soup but I prefer it brothy. Do as you feel here!
Before serving, taste for seasoning and add the last handful of fresh parsley. Remove the dried porcini here. You can cut them up and re-add them or leave them for something else.
Serve with a swirl of good olive oil and extra parsley on top.