Sunday, November 15, 2009
Beef Barley Soup Recipe
I wasn't initially planning to post this recipe, but this soup turned out to be too good to keep to ourselves. It even inspired my DH to write the following introduction:
Beef Barley Soup is one of those soups that you eat in college. You get a can, you dump it out, you heat it up and it's instant fuel. It's not flashy. It's not gourmet. But it is what your college-age son is dumping into a tiny aluminum pot and eating while watching football. I must have had a hundred cans of it when I was in school.
Then, there is this soup. Like the stuff out of the can, it's not gourmet. It's simple food, but it's so good. The meat chunks have texture and are chewy. You can taste the fresh leeks and the thyme shines through. The barley actually lends something to the soup and isn't the bland filler that permeates a can.
This soup is one of the reasons why cooking at home and making even the simple things can be so rewarding.
Excuse, me, I have to watch some basketball.
Allrighty, then. On to the recipe. (And I make him eat salad!)
Beef Barley Soup
1 1/2 lbs Beef Stew Meat (I like Chuck, or you can get the pre-cut stew meat from the store) cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tsp Canola Oil, Divided
3 Cups Sliced Leeks
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Carrots
3 Cups (8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed or minced
4 Cups Water
1 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
3 Bay Leaves
3 1/2 Cups Beef Broth
3/4 Cups Pearl Barley
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
Heat 2 tsp canola oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the beef and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove beef from pan. Add more oil, if needed, and the leeks and carrots and cook until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes more, then add in the garlic.
Add the water, thyme, bay leaves and broth. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for one hour. Add barley, and cook until the barley and the meat are tender, about one hour more. Discard the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper.