1/3 Cup Quick Cooking Barley
7 Cups Water
1/4 Ounces Dried Porcini Mushrooms
1 Large Leek (white and pale green parts only) thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, chopped
2 Celery Ribs Diced
2 Carrots, chopped
1/2 Pounds shitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons medium dry sherry
1 3/4 Cups beef broth
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Simmer barley in 3 1/2 cups water in a 5 or 6 quart pot, uncovered until almost tender. 10-15 minutes. Drain in colander.
While Barley is cooking, soak porcini mushrooms in 1/2 cup water in small bowl until softened. About 20 minutes. Drain in a sieve lined with a paper towel. Set over a bowl, reserving liquid. Rinse porcini to remove any grit then coarsely chop. wash sliced leek in a bowl of water then lift from water and drain in sieve.
Heat oil in cleaned pot over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Saute onion and celery, stirring occasionally until golden. Add carrots, shitakes, leek and porcini and saute. Stirring frequently until liquid from mushrooms is evaporated and mushrooms are golden.
Stir in tomato paste, sherry, beef broth, mushroom soaking liquid, barley, salt , pepper, and remaining 3 cups water, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer uncovered stirring occasionally, until vegetables and barley are tender. Salt and pepper as needed