Spicy and Hearty Mushroom Barley Soup

I had a very imaginative dinner planned the other night. It included a quinoa salad that I had never made before. It had a salad with an egg on top (which has demonstrated itself to be one of the best things I have eaten thus far in my life). It had all these wonderful things that I had planned in my head after a shopping trip to Trader Joe's, of course.

I don't usually plan out my meals. I keep a select few ingredients that I always have on hand and than I play off of whatever looks amazing or whatever is on sale. Let's get real. Food is expensive.

Anyways, I had this whole meal planned and than I get a text from my husband that went like this..."Whats for dinner?" I rattled off my super gourmet menu to him and he responded with, "Sounds great, but I am sick and NEED soup [insert sad smiley here]" Luckily I had all the ingredients needed to prepare on of my favorite soups, Mushroom Barley. Here goes...

Updated Mushroom Barley Soup with Shiitake and Thyme

1 Medium Onion, diced
2 Celery Stalks (I also used some of the leaves from the top of the celery), diced
2 Carrots, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Package of Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
1 Package of Shiitake Mushrooms, sliced
4 Cups of Veggie Broth
1 Cup of Pearled Barley
1 Tbs. Fresh Thyme
1 Tsp. Cumin
1 Tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tbs. EVOO
Freshly Cracked S&P

In a large soup pot add a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add your diced onion. Saute until the onion is transparent. Add the minced garlic, celery and carrots and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms with a drizzle of olive oil on top. Be sure to season each layer of veggies with salt and pepper! Once the mushrooms have a nice color to them (about 8 minutes) add your broth. Next add all seasonings and bring to a boil. Once at a boil add your barley, cover, and simmer for one hour, or until you get super hungry! Enjoy!


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