Mushroom Barley Soup!
This recipe is from my friend, K. She gave it to me in approximate measures, so that is how I am going to give it to you. K uses quick-cook barley, but I couldn't find any. I found pearled barley at my grocery, which takes 35-45 minutes to cook. With the quick-cook barley, K says you only need to simmer the soup for 15 minutes.
cream of mushroom soup
Saute the shallots and mushrooms in Olive oil. Add some thyme and pepper. You can add salt, but unless you've bought the reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup and chicken broth (and sometimes even then), it may be salty enough. I recommend tasting at the end and adding salt then, if necessary. Add the cut-up carrots and celery and a cup of barley. Stir in the cream of mushroom soup and chicken stock. How much? I recommend getting a quart-size box. After you've put in the cream of mushroom soup, fill the can with stock/broth twice. Then, monitor the liquid level as the barley cooks, and add more as necessary. You can make it as thick or as thin as you like. Bring the soup up to a boil, and then turn down the heat and simmer for about 35 and then start testing for doneness. Stir occasionally and keep an eye on the liquid level. It's a very tasty and filling soup! It is pretty easy to throw together, too.