Heat the oil in a saucepan, then add
the onions, garlic, thyme, sugar and a
good pinch of salt. Cook on a medium-low
heat for 15-20 mins or until golden
coloured. Add the stock and simmer for
a further 10 mins.
In a separate large saucepan of salted
boiling water, cook the barley for 15 mins,
adding the cavolo nero or kale for the
final 3 mins of cooking. Drain and rinse
under cold water, then add to the soup
and warm through.
Heat the grill. Top the toasted bread
with cheese and place under the grill until
it’s bubbly and melted. Serve in 2 large
bowls with the cheesy croutons on top.