Comforting Beef and Barley Soup
As I write these words, I’ve only got one thing on my mind, and that is “I want to go to bed”. I think I caught a very nasty cold, and it’s making me feel extremely miserable. And tired. And cold. And miserable.
I hope you won’t resent me for keeping things brief today…
One thing I’m extremely thankful for is that I happen to have a great big potful of this delicious and super comforting Beef and Barley Soup in the fridge. Boy am I glad I just whipped that up a few days ago!
I can’t think of anything quite as comforting and satisfying as Beef and Barley Soup right this instant. Filled with a generous amount of melt-in-your-mouth-tender chunks of meat, loads of crunchy, chewy barley and tons of vegetables, that’s what I call true food of love!
Oh, and let’s not forget the bone broth that it contains!
I say that’s a bowl of goodness that’s guaranteed to warm you right up even during the coldest of winter days, or make you feel better even when you’re down with the nastiest of colds…
Guess what I’m having for dinner tonight?
Most people like to use cubed stew meat in their Beef and Barley soup, but my own personal preference goes to blade roast. I find it to be so much tastier and so much more tender, too!
Plus, I like it when my pieces of meat have this rustic “shredded” feel to them, and the only way to achieve that is to start with a big, thick slab of meat. Granted, that cut of meat does take a very long time to cook, but it’s so very much worth it in the end.
Plus, it’s no trouble at all, since you don’t need to do anything while it’s doing its thing, except for maybe check on it from time to time…
One of the most crucial steps in making this soup is to start by searing the meat over very high heat, so it has a chance to form a beautiful crust. Trust me, that crust equals flavor to the 10th power and you WANT that to go into your soup.
To do this, melt some ghee (or other cooking fat of your choice) in a large stockpot set over the highest setting. Meanwhile, pat your roast dry and sprinkle it generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Oh, and trim off any excess fat, if you find it necessary.
Then, when your pan is scorching hot, carefully drop the roast in and sear it, without moving it, until that beautiful golden crust forms, about 5 minutes. Flip the meat over and repeat with the other side.
Now turn the heat all the way down to low, throw in the onions and garlic, cover and let that meat cook… for a very long time!
Check on it from time to time, just to make sure it’s not burning or anything, but you’re gonna want to cook that meat for about 3 hours, or until it’s so tender you can easily tear it up into bite size pieces with 2 forks.
Once that’s done, add the barley and stir to coat…
Then throw in the diced tomatoes, bone broth, water, seasonings and bay leaf.
Stir, cover loosely, crank up the heat and bring your soup to a boil; then, turn the heat down to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the barley doesn’t attach.
When the barley is cooked about ¾ of the way, add the carrots, celery, mushrooms and corn kernels (no need to thaw them, really) and resume cooking until the carrots and barley are cooked to your liking, which should take about 20 to 25 minutes.
Now all that’s left to do is kill the heat, stir in a handful of chopped fresh parsley and serve.
Does that look good or what? That’s a big laddleful of comfort right there.
I’m almost feeling better just looking at it, thinking about the fact that I’ll be enjoying a healthy serving of this steaming hot Beef and Barley soup in just a few minutes…
And then, off to bed I go!
Comforting Beef and Barley Soup
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 celery stalk, cleaned and diced
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 2-3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- Melt the ghee (or other cooking fat of your choice) in a large stockpot set over high heat. Meanwhile, pat the roast dry and sprinkle it generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
- When the pan is scorching hot, carefully drop the roast in and sear it, without moving it, until a beautiful golden crust forms, about 5 minutes. Flip the meat over and sear the other side.
- Turn the heat all the way down to low, throw in the onions and garlic, cover and let the meat cook until it's so tender you can break it up into bite size pieces with 2 forks, about 3 hours.
- Add the barley and stir to coat, then throw in the diced tomatoes, bone broth, water, seasonings and bay leaf.
- Stir, cover loosely, crank up the heat and bring to a boil; then, turn the heat down to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the barley doesn't attach, until the barley is cooked about 3/4 of the way.
- Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms and corn kernels and resume cooking until the carrots and barley are cooked to your liking, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Kill the heat, stir in parsley and serve.