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Monday, February 16, 2009

beef and barley soup

beef and barley soup 2

As promised last week, I'm going to share a couple of our favorite soups that you can make with homemade beef stock. And like any of the good soups I've made recently, this one is adapted from a recipe in the oh-so-amazing New England Soup Factory cookbook.

As a side note, I had no idea barley was so healthy. This soup is actually really well balanced, with a lot of fiber and even more protein. If you substitute a leaner cut of meat for the generic "stew beef" called for in the recipe, you further reduce the fat content (not to mention the meat isn't too chewy or sinewy that way).

Grocery list: 3 pounds stew beef (cut into bite size pieces), red wine vinegar, olive oil, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 large onion (peeled and diced), 2 ribs diced celery, 6 carrots peeled and diced, 1/2 pound pearl barley, 1 cup burgundy wine, 1 8-oz can tomato paste, 8 cups beef stock, 2 bay leaves, 5 dashes worcestershire, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley.

cooking cubed beef for soup

To start, cook the meat. Cut the meat into whatever you consider to be "bite size", and place in a stock pot with 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and 12 cups water, plus a generous pinch of salt. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 1.5 hours. Drain and reserve the meat.

vegetables to start beef barley soup

Next, chop the carrots, celery and onions, and mince the garlic cloves. Heat a couple of turns of olive oil over medium high heat in the same stock pot you used for the beef.

beef and barley soup base

Saute the onion, celery, carrots and garlic in olive oil for about 7 minutes.

cooked beef added to soup base

Add the cooked beef, wine, tomato paste, stock and bay leaves. Stir in the barley.

adding barley to stock

It surprised me how much water such a small amount of barley could absorb. Don't worry if it seems like it's not enough barley; it's not like pasta or orzo, as it will double in volume, at least.

barley cooking after one hour

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes (stirring occasionally).

stirring parsley worcesterhire into beef barley soup

Remove from heat and stir in worcestershire and parsley. Remove bay leaves. Season w/salt and pepper and serve.

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