Put a large saucepan over a medium
heat. Sizzle the lardons or bacon for
10 mins until golden, stirring now and then.
While they cook, chop the onions, carrots
and celery into smallish pieces. When the
bacon is ready, stir in the veg, garlic and
herbs, cover and gently cook for 10 mins.
Meanwhile, put the mushrooms into a
jug, then fill up to the 600ml mark with
boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 mins.
Lift the mushrooms out of their juice
with a slotted spoon and roughly chop.
Turn up the heat under the pan, add the
mushrooms, fry for 1 min, then pour in
the wine. Let it evaporate right down,
then pour the liquid from the mushroom
jug into the pan, avoiding the last drops,
as they can be gritty. Add the stock
and barley. Simmer for 40 mins until the
barley is tender. Lift out the thyme and
rosemary stalks. Can be made up to
2 days ahead or frozen for up to 1 month.
If you make ahead, the soup will need
loosening with a little more stock as
the barley will thicken it over time.
When ready to serve, finely shred the
greens and simmer in the soup for 5 mins
until tender. Season to taste, then serve
with cheese for sprinkling over the top,
crusty bread and buttter.