Whole grains like barley are the perfect foods if you are on a budget, a half cup of barley may not seem like that much when you are measuring it out, but it expands to three times its size—any more and you would need an army to take this soup off your hands.
You could make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and it would be equally delicious. I just happened to have chicken stock on hand so that’s what I used.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 pound white button, Cremini, or Portabello mushrooms, wiped clean and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup dry sherry or Madiera
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and mushrooms and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are browned, about 10 minutes. Add sherry or madeira and scrape up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed; remove thyme stems before serving.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 293mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 11g