My mom passed this recipe along to me, having found it on the back of the barley bag at her local market. Packed with mushrooms, it's a comforting and simple dinner that is welcome during any season. —Posie (Harwood) Brien
Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until the onions soften, about 3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the barley and cook for 1 minute. Add half of the broth, reduce the heat to medium-low, and summer until the barley absorbs the broth completely, stirring every now and again. Continue adding the remaining broth, a ladle-full at a time, and simmering the barley until it is creamy and tender. This will take about 45 minutes -- stir occasionally.
Add the cheese, parsley, and cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.