I've never considered making any kind of barley soup other than mushroom-barley. That's a shame, because this one we made up is ten times more interesting. As usual, I opened the fridge and pantry and basically threw in whatever I saw there. I encourage you to do the same.
What we had:
Celery (with some of the leaves chopped up)
The first four went in first to sautee in olive oil. Then came the seasoning:
Then came water. Once the barley was cooked and the carrots were soft I shut of the heat and tossed in the scallions. Done.
As you might have guessed from the seasoning list, the soup was rather salty. There should have been less soup mix, or none at all. Still, a great soup.