Saw this recipe for a healthy mushroom barley soup with kale in the New York Times, and went for it. Pretty tasty! Making the mushroom 'stock' by reconstituting dried mushrooms in some boiling water made it really meaty tasting and hearty, despite the fact that it's vegetarian. I think throwing the parmesan rind in there as it simmers is essential, too.
I served it with grated parmesan on top and homemade whole wheat rolls using the basic dough from Healthy Breads in 5 Minutes a Day.
Please don't read anything into the fact that every time I tried to write "barley soup," I wrote "barely soup."