Mushroom Barley Soup

It's been so darn cold in California lately, all I've wanted to do is make soup! We have absolutely nothing to complain about compared to the East Coast- our weather has basically been sunny with unusually low temperatures but the heater in our home is broken, so we are especially feeling the effects! This tasty soup hits the spot- it is warm, filling and very savory.

Mushroom Barley Soup
¼ cup olive oil
½ large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, including some of the leaves, chopped
½  lb. white button mushrooms, sliced
½   lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup sherry
10 cups beef stock
¼ cup pearl barley

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add ½ of mushrooms and brown on one side, about 2 minutes and then stir to brown other side. Remove and add rest of olive oil and mushrooms and brown second batch. Lower temperature to medium  and add onion, celery, and carrots and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. When the pan gets dry, add a little stock instead of more oil.  Add garlic and browned mushrooms and cook, stirring, until mushrooms give off their liquid and evaporates. Add sherry, and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Add stock, and barley and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered and stirring occasionally, until barley is tender, about 30-45 minutes. Enjoy!

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