Beef Barley Soup
I made a few secret New Year’s resolutions related to food earlier this year. One of them was to experiment with new types of grains in my cooking. The reason that I said secret, well, I didn’t really declare it out loud, or even shared this with anyone, even Red. Because I really didn’t want to end up at the last week in December realizing that I haven’t followed through with it throughout the year. He, he! Kind of cheating, huh? But I’m proud to say that I was able to at least try ONE this year, and it was barley. Red loves anything with beef, so when I saw Gina posting this recipe on her blog, I knew that I had to try it right away.
The thought of having big chunks of beef in my soup kind of intimidated me at first (yea, I know, I’m lame like that). Therefore, I decided to add generous amount of veggies into the soup, thinking that if I didn’t care for the beef, at least, I could still have a hearty bowl of the vegetable soup with barley. Plus, I thought that my daughter would probably not go for the beef chunks – she normally goes after everything but the meat on her plate. I was glad to learn that the cubed stew meat fell apart so nicely and fork-tender, thanks to over two hours of simmering on the stove in herb-infused chicken broth. This soup was hearty and flavorful but still light. And I love how the barley adds almost a nice crunch and bite to the soup; I definitely missed out on not cooking with them sooner. If you have any fave recipes using barley, please share with me, because I’d love to find more recipes using them!
1 tsp oil
1-1/2 lbs lean beef round stew meat
2 cup chopped carrots
1-1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1-2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup dry medium barley
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat a large dutch oven on medium heat and add oil. When the oil is heated, add beef to brown. Season with a little salt let the meat cook for a few minutes, and flip them lightly to ensure that all sides are nicely browned.
Add add sliced carrots, onion, celery and garlic to the pot and mix them together.
Add chicken broth, salt and bay leaves into the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling , reduce heat to low and cover.
Let the soup simmer while covered over low heat until the meat is soft, about 2 hours.
Add the barley, adjust the salt if desired and add fresh ground pepper.
Simmer an additional 60 minutes (depending on the type of barley used), remove bay leaves and serve.
Yield: Approximately 6-7 cups.
Adapted from Skinny Taste