salt and pepper to taste (check for sodium in chicken broth if store bought before adding more)
In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally to see if more oil is needed to prevent sticking and burning.
Add the garlic and stir – cook 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant.
Add the mushrooms and cook until their liquid is released, about 4 minutes.
Add both broths, water, vinegar, tomato paste, spices and bay leaf.
Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to simmer.
Add the barley and cook 45 minutes – 1 hour or until barley is tender.
Remove the bay leaf and check for seasoning. Add more seasonings if necessary.