4 ounces Shitake mushrooms
4 ounces Cremini mushrooms
4 ounces white button mushrooms or a large Portobello mushroom
1 cup Shallot, minced
1 clove Garlic, peeled and minced
4-6 cups clear Vegetable Broth
4 sprigs fresh Thyme, I like French Thyme (about 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons minced flat leaf Italian Parsley (optional)
Slice the mushrooms, mince the shallot and sauté in a medium size skillet for 5 minutes, using enough water or vegetable broth to keep from sticking to pan. Remove ¼ of the mushroom mixture to reserve for topping.
Add the fresh Thyme sprigs (the leaves will melt into the mixture, then you can remove the stems before serving) add garlic and the barley to the remaining mushroom mixture and stir to combine. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring mixture to a boil.
Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring and checking to be sure there is adequate amount of moisture, adding more broth as needed ½ cup at a time until you have used all 4 cups. I have found that now and then I need to use more than the 4 cups until you get tender, but firm barley.
Remove stems from Thyme before serving. Top each serving with the reserved mushrooms and sprinkle with fresh flat leaf parsley if desired.