Sausage Mushroom Lentil Barley Soup Extravaganza

Combined & modified this recipe and this recipe
I loved this, great flavor! Easily modified to make it vegetarian if you want

INGREDIENTS: (fills a 7qt slow cooker)
carrots (I used 2 small bags of baby carrots & cut them into smaller pieces. see photo below)
1 med-large onion, chopped
fresh spinach, chopped (I used prob 30ish leaves)
1 small carton (8oz?) buttom mushrooms, sliced
1 small carton baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
16oz ground Italian sausage
6 oz real bacon pieces
1 c pearl barley
1 c lentils
1 can diced tomatoes
10c desired broth (I made 5 c vegetable broth & 5 c chicken broth.)
minced garlic, to taste
basil, to taste
2 bay leaves

(Basically throw everything except the spinach in the slow cooker & cook for a few hours).
Cook the sausage in a skillet and crumble. Drain if needed.
Layer in slow cooker:
chopped onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms (the sliced mushrooms I bought were pretty big so I tore them into pieces)
Then layer in the sausage, lentils, barley, bacon, tomatoes, spices. Pour in the broth and stir it up a little.
Cook for 2-3 hrs on high, or 5-6 hrs on low. Set to warm until serving. Stir in the spinach prior to serving.

more photos: