Creamy Porcini and Barley Soup

½ c. pearl barley

4 ½ c. chicken stock

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms

2 c. boiling water

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup minced onion or shallot

8 c. sliced white mushrooms

2  small celeriac

1 tsp. dried sage

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

2 Tbsp. flour

1 cup cooking sherry

½ c. lowfat sour cream

chives for garnish

Combine barley and 1 ½ c. broth in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender, 30-35 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine porcinis and boiling water in a medium bowl and let soak until mushrooms are soft, about 20 minutes. Line a sieve with paper towel, set in over a bowl and pour mushrooms and soaking liquid through it.  Reserve soaking liquid. Chop porcinis finely. Heat butter and oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until softened. Add white mushrooms and cook, stirring often, util they have released their juices and started to brown.  Add porcinis, celery or celeriac, sage, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften.  Sprinkle flour over the veggies and cook until flour is incorporated, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, until most of the sherry has evaporated. Add the soaking liquid and the remaining 3 c. of broth, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes.  Add the cooked barley and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream until incorporated. Garnish with chives. Serves 4. Adapted from Eating Well Jan.-Feb. 2007.