(new photo added February 2014)
This is one of Tom’s and my favorite soups. It has, in fact, always been one of my favorites but it’s a new favorite for Tom. You see, when I first bought barley to make this soup, he looked at me funny. Barley? Isn’t that what horses eat? Sigh. One bite of this soup and he was singing a different tune. Now he requests this ALL the time.
This soup has tender beef infused with just a little red wine, chewy barley and vegetables in an aromatic broth. It’s not terribly thick as written, but the barley absorbs a lot of the liquid as it sits, so I tend to use a little extra. If you plan on eating this all right away, you may want to reduce the broth a bit.
Unfortunately, after blogging nearly a year, I have still not gotten the hang of photographing soup.
Note: Recipe has been altered slightly since original post date.
Beef Mushroom Barley Soup
1 lb. beef, cut into bite sized pieces (any roast, stew meat, etc. will do)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup water
1 cup red wine
2 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, diced
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup celery, sliced
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 cups beef broth
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1/2 cup pearled barley
Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add meat, in batches if necessary, and brown on all sides. If there is a lot of fat at the bottom of the post, remove the beef with a slotted spoon and drain off the fat. Add the beef back into the pot; pour in water and red wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until beef is tender, an hour or longer if desired.
Remove beef with a slotted spoon and cut into small bite sized chunks or shred. Skim fat from the liquid in the pot. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid and discard the rest. Wipe out the pot.
Melt the butter in the pot. Add celery, carrots, onion, and saute until just tender. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add beef broth, reserved cooking liquid, thyme, bay leaf, and beef. Bring to a boil and then stir in barley. Simmer until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Season the soup to taste.