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Mrs. Kostyra's Mushroom Barley Soup


Mrs. Kostyra used Polish borowik mushrooms in this recipe, but dried porcini work just as well. Martha made this recipe on Cooking School episode 308.

  • Servings: 8

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television, Episode 10231


  • 2 ounces dried mushrooms, such as Polish borowik or porcini
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 6 ounces pearl barley, washed
  • 10 cups Beef Stock Beef Stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill


  1. Place the mushrooms in a small bowl. Add water and let soak overnight. Transfer mushrooms and soaking liquid to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the mushrooms are tender, about 40 minutes. Drain mushrooms, reserving soaking liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms; set aside.

  2. Add barley to a small saucepan with 3 cups stock. Bring to a boil and let simmer until the barley is tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in butter; set aside.

  3. In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 7 cups stock to a boil with the carrots, celery, and reserved mushrooms and soaking liquid. Stir in the cooked barley mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. In a small bowl, stir together the sour cream and the flour. While stirring, slowly add 1 cup of the stock. Stir into soup with dill. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

Polish borowik mushrooms are available from the Polish Art Center, 9539 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck, MI 48212; 888-619-9771 or

Reviews Add a comment

  • judithbb
    27 JAN, 2013
    An addition to my comment above: Use the sour cream and flour (listed as optional). You'll be glad you did. And don't stint on the black pepper and salt.
  • judithbb
    27 JAN, 2013
    Absolutely fantastic. I found this recipe while looking for a way to re-create the Polish mushroom barley soup I remember from the Polish restaurants of the East Village, in NYC. So few ingredients (count them!) and so much flavor. I'm obsessed. I used dried porcinis, which worked perfectly.
  • Toniasol
    23 JUN, 2008
    The addition of the carrot gave some nice color and the celery some delicate flavor. Our guests liked the soup very much, we served it with a slice of southern cornbread. To the leftovers tomorrow we'll add some cooked barley for a mushroom-barley soup.