Bacon adds a smoky flavor to this earthy soup; tomato paste adds a touch of sweetness. Use quick-cooking barley as a time-saver. It has the same nutty flavor as pearl barley, but it cooks in approximately half the time.
Have a pot of soup ready in just a half hour with quick-cooking barley. Lemon juice, parsley, and Parmesan wake up the mushrooms. Sauteing mushrooms and aromatics quickly builds a foundation of flavor. Finish the soup by adding remaining ingredients and simmering briefly.
The addition of exotic mushrooms to flavorful homemade beef stock turn a familiar favorite -- beef barley soup -- into a special winter meal. Serve with crusty bread, a robust red wine, and a salad, and you'll have a deliciously comforting meal.