I know a lot of people don't like mushrooms, but I've always felt it's because they've never had them cooked properly :) Just kidding.
Mushrooms are an important part of a vegetarian diet, mainly because they have a meaty texture and add a nice depth of flavor to a recipe. Throw them together with barley and roasted red peppers, and you have a great tasting combination.
Barley and Mushroom Soup
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
12 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
2 tb Italian seasoning
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
In stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic the last five minutes of cooking.
Add the vegetable broth, roasted red peppers, barley, Italian seasoning, cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the barley is tender, about twenty-five minutes. Serve hot.