What can I say? Soup is just a perfect meal. Loaded with nutrients. Hearty and delicious. Hot and satisfying. Not to mention, economical.
Homemade soups are so easy. A little bit of prep work then they just simmer on the stove, making your house smell glorious. They freeze well and keep well. You can make some on Sunday and bring a healthy lunch to work all week. See, it’s as convenient as a can. It’s better for you, and it’s easier on your wallet.
So, why buy canned soup? They are typically loaded with sodium and calories. And let’s face it, they really just taste like crap.
This soup is more of a stew. Hulled barley is packed with fiber and the broth is extremely flavorful. The meat is browned and set aside. Then the veggies are carmelized and reduced in a dry red wine. Toss in some canned chicken broth and there you have it!
A bowl of this with a salad and a bit of crusty bread, which by the way, is the perfect accompanyment for any soup or stew, in my opinion, will warm your soul.
Beef Barley Soup
2 T. Olive Oil
1 lb london broil, cut into 3/4″ cubes
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
8 oz. white mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 c. dry red (I used Shiraz. It’s what I had open)
4 cloves minced garlic
2 T. tomato paste
4 c. canned or fresh chicken broth
3 c. water
3/4 c. hulled barley, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
Heat 1 T. plus 1 tsp. olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Cook beef until browned on all sides, approximately 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add remaining oil and saute onions, carrots and mushrooms until golden, about 12 minutes.
Add garlic and tomato paste and cook until carmelized, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add wine. Return to heat, stirring and scraping the pan to remove the bits from the bottom and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Return beef to pot. Add stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about an hour, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add barley, cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Add parsley. Uncover and cook an additional 20 minutes.
Serve immediately or pack away for lunches.
You can thank me later.
Adapted from Martha Stewart