Beef Barley Soup

That winter chill is back in the air.  And that could only mean one thing – soup time!

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.

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3 Responses to “Beef Barley Soup”

  1. 1 Bee
    November 14, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Hi Susan, I’ve found your soup via Foodgawker. Cooked it, loved it, will share it on my blog. Thanks :-)

  2. November 21, 2011 at 5:09 am

    Great recipe ! I made it! It`s delicious!!! And it looks great , too!

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