Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and sugar; cover and cook 25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms; cook 10 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add barley; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in soy sauce, salt, pepper, and thyme.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pour broth over barley mixture; cover and bake at 350° for 1 hour or until barley is tender. Let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
This was a very delicious vegetarian dish! I made it using fresh shiitakes from a local organic farm, and they truly starred! So meaty and rich - they made the dish! The only thing I would change would be to add a little more thyme - and maybe try fresh thyme next time.
I chopped the mushrooms very fine so they would be about the same size as the cooked barley. I threw in a handful of chopped spinach, kale and basil with the broth. When I served it it added a drizzle of balsamic. It is yummy. It is a keeper
Very delicious dish! I made as directed except I used very low sodium chicken broth in place of vegetable broth. I also doubled the salt, pepper, and thyme. Even with that addition, we had to add a little more salt and pepper to the finished dish which really brought out the wonderful flavors.
I love mushrooms and always looking for new dishes that incorporate whole grains and vegetarian options. This was really disappointing - mainly just tasted like onion. We didn't finish the whole batch.