Monday, February 2, 2015

Beef & Barley Soup



So I know that in part of the country, there was a blizzard last week.  And while New York and Massachusetts were blanketed in snow, we were enjoying some 70 degree weather here! While that might not be normal soup weather, we enjoyed this beef and barley soup so much that it didn't really matter what the weather was like.

As I usually do (I can't help myself), I added some extra vegetables to this soup - extra carrots, sliced mushrooms, and chopped cauliflower.  They all worked very well in this dish - our 2 year old especially loved finding the cauliflower "trees" in her bowl.

We all loved this soup but the person who loved it the most was our toddler.  She had 4 bowls for dinner (small bowls but she still put away quite a bit of food!).  The next day she had almost as much for lunch so it was definitely a huge hit in our home.

I think this soup is hearty enough to have on its own for dinner but we added a salad to round it out - you could also include bread or a sandwich on the side, too. 

Beef & Barley Soup
Taken from: Pink Parsley
Serves about 8 (I halved this and got about 4 servings from it)
  • 2 medium white or yellow onions, chopped fine
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste (I omitted)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs minced fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3-5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup sliced or chopped mushrooms (optional)
  • 2-3 cups of chopped cauliflower (optional)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (I omitted)
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 lbs beef blade roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 4 chunks
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, for serving (I forgot to add this)
  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the onions, tomato paste, oil, thyme, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Stir well to combine and microwave for 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened.  Transfer to the slow cooker.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, beef broth, chicken broth, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower, soy sauce, wine, and barley.  Generously season the beef with salt and pepper and nestle it into the slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, 9 to 10 hours on low, or 6 to 7 hours on high.
  4. Carefully transfer the beef to a cutting board.  When it's cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces with 2 forks, discarding any fat.  
  5. Use a large spoon to skim any fat from the surface of the soup.  Stir in the shredded beef and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in the parsley and serve.

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