Soak shiitake in 2 cups hot water for 20 minutes, remove stems, discard stems and slice the caps. Reserve soaking water. Place the barley, chickpeas, water, shiitake soaking water, onions, shiitake, bay leaf, and garlic in a soup pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except the scallions. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove whole bay leaves, if not using crushed and discard. Serve and garnish with scallions.
Note: If using whole barley, soak overnight or 6 to 8 hours and simmer in the soaking water for about 1 hour or until slightly tender before adding remaining ingredients in the recipe.
Per serving - 161 calories, 1 g fat (6% calories from fat), 8 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 357 mg sodium