In a med-size saucepan, combine the barley and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the liquid is absorbed.
In a kettle, combine the onions, carrots, mushrooms and celery with 1 to 2 tbs of water. Steam over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Drain tofu for 30 minutes, pat dry and cut into 1-inch cubes.
Add the bean stock, tofu and sherry to vegetables in the kettle, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Add cooked barley and black pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. Ladle soup into heated bowls and garnish each serving with finely chopped parsley and yogurt, if desired. Serve piping hot.
Gumbos, Soups, Chowders
Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana