Mushroom and Barley Soup (Belarus)

“"Krupnik z Hrybami i Miasam" - from the Grealitvanian (Belarusian) cookbook, published by the American-Belarusian Women's Society. Belarusian cuisine has much in common with that of other countries in the region. This hearty soup is sure to please. I've expanded a bit on the instructions, based on my experience with these ingredients.”
READY IN:
1hr 35mins
SERVES:
4
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Wash barley in hot water and soak overnight in two cups of water.
  2. If using dried mushrooms, wash, break up any large pieces, and cover with two cups of hot water, soaking for at least two hours, and overnight if you can.
  3. Drain the barley, put in pot, and cover with four cups fresh water.
  4. Drain the mushrooms, saving the soaking liquid .If using fresh mushrooms, slice.
  5. Melt butter in the saucepan, add the onion and mushrooms and saute until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add all of this to the pot, along with the meat and some salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the barley is soft and the meat is done, about 1 hour. I would add the mushroom soaking liquid - you need to make sure you don't pour in the grit that settles to the bottom. Watch the pot, as you may need additional water, especially if you used fresh mushrooms and don't have the soaking liquid.
  7. Remove the beef, cube, and return to the pot.
  8. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream, if desired. Taste for salt.
  9. Note: The recipe does not call for it, but I would add one or two bay leaves, and 4 or 5 whole peppercorns or some ground black pepper to any soup of this type.

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