I love soups, particularly hearty ones and am constantly on the lookout for a new soup to add to my winter-soup-rotation. This one has made the cut. It’s a cross between a soup and a stew, actually. A complete meal in a bowl. The barley really thickens up the soup. One time I was a little short on barley so I added in some cooked quinoa that I had leftover in the fridge. It was wonderful.
I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart. I’ve already made it a few times and tweaked it to my liking, adding more meat and mushrooms than originally called for and completely introducing thyme (always goes great with mushrooms) and peas. I hope you love my version as much as we do!
Here’s what you will need to serve 6…
2 tbsp olive oil
2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 package crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 package shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp garlic, minced (approx 4 cloves)
1 tsp chopped thyme
2 tbsp tomato paste
3/4 cup dry red wine
4 cups chicken stock, low sodium
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup barley
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Season beef cubes with salt & pepper and brown on all sides. For 2 pounds of meat I usually do this in 2 batches so I don’t overcrowd the pan. Transfer meat to a plate and set aside.
Reduce heat slightly and add a touch more olive oil if needed. Add onion and carrots to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, and cook until veggies have softened, approximately 10 minutes.
Add garlic, thyme, tomato paste and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Cook until reduced by half, 4-5 minutes.
Return beef to the pot. Add the chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
After 1 hour add the barley to the pot and continue to cook, covered, for 30 – 40 minutes, or until barley is tender. Add frozen peas for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Turn off heat, stir in parsley and serve.