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1 ½ ounce dried mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, cremini or a combination)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ¼ pound fresh shiitake or cremini mushrooms, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced (about 1 ½ cup)
1 medium leek, white part only, washed well and chopped (about 1 cup)
2 ribs celery, chopped (about 1 ½ cup)
1 ½ cups pearl barley
4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Bring 2 cups water to a boil, add dried mushrooms, remove from heat and set aside. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add fresh mushrooms, carrot, leek and celery; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened. Add barley and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Strain dried mushrooms, saving the soaking liquid; cut into bite-size pieces. Add mushrooms, soaking liquid, broth, rosemary, salt and pepper to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until barley is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar.