Soak porcini mushrooms in 3 cups very hot water. When soft, strain through fine-mesh sieve; reserve soaking liquid. Chop porcini coarsely, discarding any hard bits.
Heat olive oil in soup pot over high heat. Add fresh mushrooms and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to brown. Add barley; cook, stirring frequently, until barley begins to brown. Sprinkle with a little salt and plenty of pepper.
Add porcini; cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add bay leaf, reserved soaking liquid and stock or water. Bring to a boil; lower heat. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until barley is very tender. Add soy sauce to taste.
Recipe created by Chef Mark Bittman