Mushroom Barley Soup

3/4 cup pearl barley

2 tablespoons Wild Mushroom & Sage, Tuscan Herb, House Blend, or Madagascar Black Pepper Olive Oil

4 medium onions, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 1/2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced

4 cups beef broth

3 carrots, sliced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Minced parsley

In a large saucepan, stir the barley and 4 cups water; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat the oil.  Add the onions and celery; cook, stirring occationally, until softened, 6-8 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to soften and release their liquid, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth, carrots, tomato paste and barley with its liquid; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring as needed, until the barley and carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.  Stir in the salt and pepper.  Serve, garnished with parsley.