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.
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.
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