1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 tbsp. fresh thyme, minced
1 parsnip, finely diced (optional)
3 cups white mushrooms, sliced
8 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper, or to taste
1 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, minced
2 tbsp. sherry wine (optional)
Estimated Time: 60 minutes
Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-heat. Add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Add the carrot, celery, thyme, parsnip, and mushrooms. Stir well to combine with the onion; cover the pot and cook over low-heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the cover and add the broth and barley. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently over low-heat for 30 minutes, or until the barley is soft to the bite.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the parsley. If desired, add the sherry at the last moment. Serve hot.