I remember the first time I made mushroom barley soup. I was having a large group of people over for a simcha and I decided to whip up a batch of the hearty soup. Having never made it before, I underestimated how much the barley would expand. Lets just say it was more of a cream of barley soup than a mushroom anything. I have since learned my lesson and to be sure of myself, I cook the barley separately and add it the soup once it’s already tender.