2 tsp. + 2 tsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. Spike Seasoning (optional)
8-12 oz. brown Crimini mushrooms, chopped in medium-sized pieces
4 cups vegetable stock (or use 2 14 oz. cans vegetable broth and 1/2 cup water)
4 cups mushroom stock (I used Better than Bouillon Mushroom Base mixed with water; if you don’t want to buy mushroom base, use 4 cups more vegetable stock)
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 lb. lean ground turkey
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups chopped spinach (or more)
2 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
freshly grated Parmesan for serving (optional)
Heat 2 tsp. oil in heavy dutch-oven type pan. Add the chopped onions and saute over high heat until the onions are softened and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium, add garlic, thyme, poultry seasoning, and Spike Seasoning (if using) and saute 1-2 minutes more.
While the onions cook, wash and chop the mushrooms and combine the Better than Bouillon Mushroom Base with water according to instructions on the label to make 4 cups. When onion mixture is sauteed, add the chopped mushrooms, vegetable stock, mushroom stock (or more vegetable stock), and barley, turn the heat to medium low, and and let the mixture simmer about 30 minutes or until the barley is starting to get tender.
When barley is nearly tender, heat the other 2 tsp. oil in a large heavy frying pan and cook the ground turkey over medium-high heat until it’s nicely browned, breaking apart with a turner as it cooks. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add the meat to the soup pot and continue to cook 20-30 minutes more, until the barley is done. (You may need to add a cup or two of water.)
Wash and chop the spinach. When the barley is tender, add the spinach and cook until it’s wilted, about 10 minutes. Stir in the fresh lemon juice and serve soup hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese to add at the table if desired.