In a large pot, combine the water, mushrooms, sauerkraut, sauerkraut juice, and barley, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small non-stick skillet, saute the onion in the safflower oil for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add the flour and stir well to combine. Cook the onion-flour mixture an additional 2-3 minutes, while stirring constantly, until the color of the mixture darkens a bit. Add a little of the simmering soup to the skillet, stir well to incorporate it with the onion-flour mixture, and then stir the entire contents of the skillet into the simmering soup. Cook the soup an additional 30 minutes or until the barley is tender. Add the Vegan Dumplings and season to taste with a little salt, pepper, and sugar. Simmer the soup an additional 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Garnish individual servings with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast flakes, if desired.
*The flavor of this soup is almost better the next day.
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