- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1/4 cup EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
- 1 pound cremini or mixed mushrooms, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch cavolo nero (also called black, tuscan, dinosaur or lacinato kale), stemmed and shredded
- Salt and pepper
- A few grates nutmeg
- 1 32 ounce container (4 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
- A handful dried porcini or mixed wild mushrooms
- Shaved pecorino-romano cheese, for serving
Divide and conquer: Boil the barley separately while you move forward with the soup to get it all done in just under 30 minutes. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, add the barley and boil until just tender, 20 to 22 minutes. Drain and reserve.
Meanwhile, in a soup pot, heat the EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook until browned, then add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, 12 to 15 minutes total. Add the kale and cook to wilt; season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg. Stir in the stock, a couple of cups water and the dried mushrooms; bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook until the dried mushrooms are tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the reserved barley. Serve the soup in shallow bowls and top with the pecorino-romano.