Serves 8.

Note: The flavors are reminiscent of French onion soup with mushrooms. Use any available mushroom. From "Betty Crocker Vegetarian Cooking."

• 3 tbsp. butter

• 3 medium onions, thinly sliced

• 1 tsp. sugar

• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 6 c. sliced baby portabella mushrooms (three 8-oz. pkg.) (see Note)

• 11/2 c. uncooked pearl barley

• 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped (1 c.)

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

• 2 tbsp. soy sauce

• 1 tbsp. sesame oil

• 1/2 tsp. coarsely ground pepper

• 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

• 4 c. vegetable broth

• 3/4 c. shredded Swiss cheese (3 oz.)


Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9- by 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.

In 5-quart Dutch oven, melt butter over low heat. Add onions and sugar; cook about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown. Add garlic and mushrooms; cook 5 to 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add barley; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in bell pepper, parsley, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper and thyme. Pour in baking dish.

In microwavable bowl, microwave broth uncovered on high 4 minutes. Pour broth over onion-mushroom mixture. Cover with foil.

Bake 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with cheese.