1 cup barley
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup water
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
(The night before: in a bowl, rinse the barley until water runs clear (just like with rice) and drain, leaving only barley. Add 1 cup water and 1 cup broth to barley. Set stand in room temperature overnight).
Next day: place barley with stock & water into medium saucepan. Add remaining cup of stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10-15, or until the barley is soft. (This can be made the night before too).
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft. Add the carrots and celery and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until they are soft. Transfer the sauteed vegetables to the pot of simmering barley. Season with bay leaves, and fresh thyme. Simmer for about 10 minutes and add more water if soup is too thick or per preference.
Remove the bay leaves before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. May be refrigerated and keeps well for several days. ENJOY! :) (Recipe inspired by: twopeasandtheirpod.com)