Beef & Barley Soup

1- 1 1/2 lbs beef chuck, cut in 3/4" cubes

1 tbsp oil

1 c chopped onion

1 c diced carrots

1/2 c diced celery

1 clove garlic, minced

12-16 oz mushrooms, cut in quarters (or smaller)

3 sprigs thyme

1/2 c pearl barley, rinsed and drained

1 can beef broth

1 can chicken broth

2 c hot water

1/8 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

fresh Italian parsley

Heat oil in large skillet. Saute beef cubes til no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat to 4-quart or larger crock pot. Add beef broth, cover, and cook on high. Using same skillet, add onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms, and thyme. Cook for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, place at least half of vegetable mixture in crock pot. To remaining vegetable mixture, add pearl barley and chicken broth. Bring to a boil then add to crock pot, along with hot water, pepper, and salt. Cook on high for 5 hours. Remove thyme sprigs before serving. Garnish with parsley.