Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the barley and cook to just shy of tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain in a sieve and run under cold water, then drain again. Put the dried porcini mushrooms in a small saucepan with about 2 cups water. Bring to a low boil, then simmer until tender. Transfer the mushrooms with a slotted spoon to a food processor. Pour in all but the last few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid (grit from the mushrooms may settle there). Puree until smooth. Heat the EVOO in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the portobello mushrooms and cook until browned. Add the thyme, shallots, celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Deglaze with the sherry, stirring and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Stir in the stock, porcini puree and Roasted Garlic Paste. Meanwhile, bring the steak to room temperature and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle the steak with EVOO, then cook for 7 to 8 minutes, turning once. Let rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes, then thinly slice and cut into bite-size pieces. Dress with the Worcestershire sauce. Stir the parsley and barley into the soup, then ladle into shallow bowls. Arrange the steak on top of the soup.
Roasted Garlic Paste:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange the garlic in a cluster on a large piece of foil and drizzle with 1/4 cup EVOO. Wrap up the garlic in the foil to make a tightly sealed pouch. Roast until very tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze the garlic from the skins into a food processor. Add the remaining 3/4 cup EVOO and the honey and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth, then transfer to a small container. (Alternatively, you can mash the garlic paste with a fork instead of using a food processor.)
Note: To ensure the best results, this recipe has been altered and differs from what appears in the episode.
The cooked barley can be refrigerated in a resealable plastic bag until ready to serve the soup. The soup, without the barley and steak, can be refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Reheat over medium heat.