In 4-quart pot or Dutch oven cook sausage, onion, and sage in hot oil over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add barley, the water, and bouillon granules. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in pumpkin, maple syrup, and vinegar; heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.