Mushroom Barley Soup

Serves 8-10

4 Tbs. olive oil
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
6 cups water
2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1 oz. dried mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes, rinsed and drained
1 cup barley
1⁄2 cup sour cream

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and sauté the celery, onion and carrots until the onion begins to brown. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Drop in the mushrooms and the barley. Bring to a simmer, and continue to cook until the barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm, with a dollop of sour cream.
(Rebecca Ets-Hokin)