- Total: 1 hr
- Active: 30 min
- Yield:4 servings
- Place the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let soak until well hydrated and softened, about 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, reserving the liquid. Roughly chop the porcini and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, onion, cremini mushrooms if using, 1/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are tender and mushrooms are golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and the tomato paste to the pot, then continue to cook, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle the flour and thyme evenly over the vegetables and cook, stirring, until flour is dissolved and no longer raw, about 1 minute. Stir in the barley, broth, reserved mushroom liquid and porcini, 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover slightly and cook until the barley is tender and the soup has thickened and reduced slightly, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar and ladle into 4 bowls. Dollop with sour cream, sprinkle with parsley and serve with a slice of bread, for dipping.
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