Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Beef Mushroom Barley Soup

Most people use the first day of fall on their calendars to tell them that its the first day of fall. I use the first three consecutive days where I can no longer wear flip flops without my toes freezing to finally concede that summer has left me once again.

I think fall is an okay season. I just hate that its followed by winter with cold winds and that evil white stuff that falls from the sky. But since we have a bit of time before that happens (hopefully!), I pretend its not happening and focus on making soup. Last year I made quite a few different soups and unfortunately the warmer weather snuck up on me before I could make all of the ones I wanted. 

Beef Mushroom Barley Soup
Slightly Adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Elly says Opa!
Yield: 6-8 cups
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Ingredients:
    • 1 lb. stew meat
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup red wine
    • salt and pepper
    • 2 tbsp. butter
    • 3 carrots, peeled and coined
    • 3 stalks celery, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 6 cups beef broth
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 tsp. thyme
    • 1 tsp. basil
    • 3/4 cup barley
    • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

Directions:
1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Season the stew meat with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and cook until browned.
2. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the water and red wine. Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until at least 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid remains.
3. Remove the beef and cut into bite sized pieces. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and discard the rest.
4. Melt the butter in the pot. Add the carrots, celery and onions and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring frequently, just until the garlic is fragrant.
5. Add the beef broth, water, beef, bay leaf, thyme, basil and salt and pepper. Stir in the reserved cooking liquid and simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Add the mushrooms and barley and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.

This is one of those soups that will draw people from anywhere to come find out what that delicious smell is! Tom and I both really enjoyed it. If you're not a big fan of the hearty beef broth flavor, I'd suggest using half water and half beef broth.

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