Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until slightly soft. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan; cook 8 minutes or until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble. Add celery, carrot, garlic, and bay leaf; cook 10 minutes or until onions are golden brown, stirring frequently. Stir in mushrooms; cook 10 minutes or until mushrooms release moisture. Stir in barley, chicken broth, brandy, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour or until barley is tender. Discard bay leaf. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.
Made this according to the recipe. Husband and drop-in dinner guest LOVED it! I thought it was just so-so. They voted 5 stars, I voted 3 stars, so we compromised on a 4 star rating. I probably won't be making this again. It wasn't bad, but it was nothing to jump up and down about.
We've made this recipe several times and LOVE it. Fairly simple to make and tasty (not very spicy). I use sherry in place of the brandy. Love the barley and the fact that it is healthy. Very filling also. Serve with some warm bread and a salad for dinner.
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