7 ounces dried Polish mushrooms (or other wild variety)
2½ cups boiling water, divided
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium white onion, chopped
1-2 small leeks, white part only, chopped
1 medium carrot, diced
⅓ cup barley
6 cups chicken broth
2 white potatoes, diced
2 bay leaves
1 cup water
¾ cup sour cream
In a small bowl, soak the mushrooms in 1½ cups boiling water for 20 minutes. Then drain mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Strain that liquid through a cloth to remove any residual particles. Chop the mushrooms.
Melt the butter in a stockpot or a Dutch oven; saute the onion and leeks until soft. Add the carrot and barley and saute in butter. Add the mushroom liquid, chicken broth and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
Stir in potatoes, bay leaves, mushrooms and 1 cup water to the mixture and simmer, covered another 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
Place the sour cream into a medium bowl; and slowly add spoonfuls of the hot soup while stirring constantly. When the sour cream has been brought up to the temperature of the soup, add the sour cream mixture into the pot of soup and stir until well mixed. At this point, the soup is ready to serve or to freeze.
Serves four to five.