This recipe is a great comfort food. High in fiber, the assortment of mushrooms and the addition of garlic have immune boosting properties. It's a delicious and easy recipe to keep you warm and filled for this next week.
Heat olive oil in large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, sage and red pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are wilted, about 15 minutes.
Add bay leaves and broth, and heat to boil. Add barley, reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered until barley is tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add cheese if desired, and cook just enough to melt cheese about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaves.
The original recipe from CDKitchen for Sage Barley-Mushroom Soup can be viewed at www.cdkitchen.com.