The Weekend Gourmet: Soul-Satisfying Beef & Barley Soup F

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Soul-Satisfying Beef & Barley Soup

Texas isn't known for its brutal winters -- we suffer through weeks of 100-degree temperatures in the summers instead! So when cool weather finally settles in for a few weeks, I tend to make a lot of soups. They're really a busy cook's best friend: easy to whip up and let simmer away while you tend to other things. To me, soup is the ultimate comfort food...it warms your soul as it fills your belly! I have several go-to soup recipes in my arsenal, but I'm always looking for new additions. The beef and barley soup I'm sharing today is definitely going into our regular rotation!!

I had never tried barley until recently, and now I LOVE it! The texture is a bit chewy, and I love that it's healthy and full of fiber. Combine barley with chunks of tender beef, healthy veggies, and a few seasonings and you've got a filling meal-in-a-bowl. I adapted a recipe that I found at Cooking Light, tweaking it here and there to suit our tastes. The next time that the weather outside turns brutal and unforgiving, cook up a pot of this soup. I guarantee it will warm you up with its comforting goodness!!

Soul-Satisfying Beef & Barley Soup
adapted from Cooking Light

Step 1:  Add 1 tbs. olive oil to a 5-quart Dutch oven or soup pot. Heat over med-high heat for five minutes. Add 1 lb. lean beef stew meat that's been sprinkled liberally with kosher salt and fresh black pepper on both sides. Cook until the meat is browned.

Step 2:  Add the following veggies to the Dutch oven: 1 small diced yellow onion, 2 sliced stalks celery, two sliced carrots, and 1 cup sliced button mushrooms. Add 1 tsp. dried thyme, 2 bay leaves, and 1 tsp. crushed sage leaves. Stir to combine and cook until the veggies start to soften. This takes about 5 minutes.


Step 3:  When the veggies start to soften, add 1 cup red wine and stir to deglaze the pan. 


Step 4:  After the wine has cooked for about 3 minutes, add 8 cups beef stock and 1 cup pearled barley -- not the quick-cooking kind. Give the soup a good stir and let it come to a boil.


Lower the heat to med-low and cover. Simmer the soup for 30-45 minutes, until the barley is cooked. Ladle into serving bowls, and serve with crusty bread. This soup is hearty and satisfying...full of healthy veggies and flavorful broth! 


Tomorrow is football day...we'll be watching both games, and I'll be serving game-watching food featuring gourmet products from Cookwell & Company. Be sure to come back here Monday evening to see some of the foods I'll be making...and to get all the details about an exciting Cookwell & Company giveaway!!!

12 comments:

  1. This looks so satisfying...we had quite a few cold days over these last few weeks, but it is finally warming up again in Austin. I would make this soup year round...I've fallen in love with barely too. Thank you for sharing your words and pictures with me. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

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  2. I've never, ever cooked with barley but always enjoy eating it! This has inspired me. I am currently in a huge soup phase..... my family is loving it 'cause it's super cold and snowy here!

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  3. Mmm...I love big bowls of hearty soup. Perfect for cold days (especially here in Michigan). You know, I've never cooked with barley, but now you got me curious!

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  4. Hearty AND satisfying... Perfect!

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  5. that looks really delicious!
    www.cocoandolive.blogspot.com

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  6. This soup is perfect for chilly evenings...all you need is some crusty bread and you've got dinner! I had never cooked with barley before last November, but I really like it. It cooks easily, is filling, and tastes great!!!

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  7. Oooh...beef and barley soup! The perfect comfort food! I love all your additions...have never tried sage in mine, but it sounds wonderful.

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  8. Here in Arizona, I feel the same way. When the temperatures finally leave the upper part of the spectrum, I bring out the soup pot and baking sheets. Barley soup sounds really satisfying.

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  9. I've never cooked with barley before, either, but it has been so cold for so long, I'm running out of soup recipes! I'm going to try this beef and barley soup. Can't miss if it has red wine!

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  10. @Becky - Don't be intimidated by barley...it's a grain, and it cooks up in about 30 minutes. It's a nice change from pasta or rice in soup, and full of healthy fiber. The red wine always gives a nice richness to beef-based soups.

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  11. Yummy! The colors in that pot look so bright and fresh. Perfect dish for winter.

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  12. how very comforting:) i use a big bowl of this ..:)

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