1 cup onion, chopped
5 cups celery, sliced and divided
1/2 cup celery leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, crushed
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup pearl barley
salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, bring broth to a boil. Add onion, 3 cups celery, celery leaves, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Puree soup in a blender in two batches. Return puree to the soup pot and bring to a boil. Add the barley and simmer covered until barley is almost tender, about 25 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups celery. Simmer covered until celery and barley are tender, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper if desired.