Ingredients 1/2 cup pearl barley 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or mushroom broth, divided 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms 2 cups boiling water 2 teaspoons butter 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup minced shallots, (about 4 medium) 8 cups sliced white mushrooms, (about 20 ounces) 2 stalks celery, finely chopped 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 cup dry sherry, (see Ingredient Note) 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream 1/4 cup minced fresh chives [h=3]Preparation[/h] Bring barley and 1 1/2 cups broth to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Meanwhile, combine porcinis and boiling water in a medium bowl and soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Line a sieve with paper towels, set it over a bowl and pour in mushrooms and soaking liquid. Reserve the soaking liquid. Transfer the mushrooms to a cutting board and finely chop. Heat butter and oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add white mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the porcinis, celery, sage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring, until the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Add sherry and cook, stirring, until most of the sherry has evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the soaking liquid and the remaining 3 cups broth; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup has thickened, 18 to 22 minutes. Add the cooked barley and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes more. Stir in sour cream until incorporated. Garnish with chives. ec...i soaked the porcinis in half hot water/half mushroom stock. and in the soup i used half chicken stock and half mushroom stock. i also cooked the barley in chicken stock and water. i used more liquid to cook the barley than the recipe states, which worked well. i also diced some roasted chicken and added it to the soup. it was even better today than it was yesterday. next time i'd swap wild rice for the barley, i'd add some wild mushrooms, and i'd chop the white button mushrooms in a food processor before cooking them.