Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beef Barley Soup

These damp Fall days always make me want to bring out my favorite soup kettle and spend an hour or two in the kitchen cutting, chopping and stirring up a pot full of goodness.  This weekend beef barley soup was on the agenda.  My BFF Patti was talking about her husband's delicious vegetable barley soup he had made earlier in the week and it inspired me. 
This was a great recipe to make as I had everything I needed in the cupboard and freezer except for carrots.  I always like to cut up my own stew meat from a chuck roast. You know what you're getting that way.  Also, I just love the process of chopping up all of the veggies even though I have a fancy food processor that would do all that work in half the time.  It's such a therapeutic thing for me to do.  I get the radio on NPR and listen to the entertaining Saturday morning shows and before I know it, the soup is simmering away.

Serve this wonderful beef soup with a crusty piece of bread and a hearty glass of red wine for a delicious meal.  There will be plenty for leftovers throughout the week too!

Beef Barley Soup

1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 pounds beef chuck stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks and patted dry
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts beef stock or broth
1/4 pound medium pearled barley, rinsed in cool water and drained (NOT THE QUICK COOK!)
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes, drained (I cut these up before adding)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10- to 12-inch skillet. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the garlic. Working in batches, add a single layer of beef cubes to the skillet and sear on all sides. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle with black pepper. Leave the remaining oil in the skillet, and set it aside.

In a 5-quart soup pot, bring the stock or broth to a simmer. Add the browned beef and rinsed barley, cover, and return to a full simmer. Reduce heat and cook gently for about 1 1/2 hours.
Return the skillet to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat and add the onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Stir in the oregano and thyme. Cover the skillet and cook over very low heat for about 15 minutes.

Transfer the vegetables to the simmering soup, then add the chopped tomatoes, peas and corn. Simmer for 15 minutes and add chopped fresh parsley before serving. Yield: about 10 servings


Julie said...

They had beef barley soup at work today in the cafeteria. This looks much better :)

whack patti said...

Yum and yum!

Mrs Thomas said...

This looks delicious - one of my favorites. Can I offer a little twist on your spices? I put dried dill in my beef barley soup. Sounds weird, but can't emphasize how it is just right! :)