Author Adeena Sussman riffs on a hearty, warming soup recipe inherited from her maternal grandmother.


Credit: Jenny Huang

Recipe Summary test

20 mins
1 hr

Latkes and sufganiyot tend to steal the spotlight on Hanukkah, but no one can eat fried potatoes and donuts for seven nights straight. That's why, on one evening, Adeena Sussman always prepares mushroom barley soup, riffing on a recipe inherited from her maternal grandmother. Though she rarely cooked, the soup was a notable and delicious exception. Now Sussman carries on the tradition, with a few modifications like bolstering the broth with dried and fresh mushrooms, and seasoning it with chili flakes and fresh parsley.

This article originally appeared in our Holiday 2021 issue. Get the magazine here.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water; rehydrate for 20 minutes. Strain the mushrooms over a bowl, then finely chop. Reserve mushrooms and their liquid separately.

  • Heat the oil in a large pot (at least 5 quarts) over medium. Add the onion, carrots, and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and cook, stirring, until onions are tender and lightly golden, 9 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the button mushrooms and another 1/2 tsp. salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until mushrooms release their water, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine reduces by half, about 3 minutes.

  • Pour in the vegetable stock, reserved chopped mushrooms and their liquid, barley, bay leaf, chili flakes, and 3 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook, uncovered, until the soup thickens and the barley is tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley, season to taste with salt, divide among bowls, and serve with the Garlic Challah Toasts.