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!!!