• In a medium bowl, season beef with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Gently mix to combine. Do not overmix.

  • In a wide-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add next 3 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Add thyme, broth and water; bring to a simmer.

  • Stir in barley and partially cover. Simmer 5 minutes. Meanwhile, roll slightly rounded teaspoonfuls of seasoned beef into balls; you should have at least 32. Drop into simmering broth and continue to cook 5 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through and barley is tender. Remove thyme stems and stir in spinach. Cook until wilted.

Nutrition Facts

358 calories; 23 g total fat; 7 g saturated fat; 608 mg sodium. 17 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 21 g protein;