The soup was good as a leftover since the barley cooked a little longer. I think probably 1 hour and 15-20 minutes would be perfect. I would have liked the soup to be a little thicker but it still tasted perfect and I loved the hint of balsamic vinegar in the soup.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry barley, rinsed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
8 oz sliced button mushrooms
1 quart reduced sodium beef stock
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
In a stock pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and add in the barley, garlic and thyme. Saute for another 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and then add the broth, tomato paste, vinegar and salt.
Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let simmer for at least one hour until the barley is tender and soft. Season with additional salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
Source: Alisa Cooks