This has been a long time favorite of my family's, it is a hearty soup with so much flavor! This should be enough for 6-8 people but can be doubled if desired, and it freezes very well. The barley can be replaced with rice. I have made this soup many times using tiny meatballs, that have been browned first. The crushed red pepper flakes are optional, if you like some heat then add them in when cooking the soup. This soup is very good, and tastes even better the day after!