I am writing this blog on Wednesday morning. It is 22 degrees outside, very windy and I just walked the dogs. My mind wanders as I am walking. What am I thinking about? SOUP, of course. Nothing is better on a frigid day than hot soup-in my mind at least. This soup is easy, hearty and freezes beautifully, since there are no potatoes (barley as the starch instead), so make a triple-batch.
Many people think making soup is a matter of just throwing everything into the pot-this is especially true with crock pot cooking-but good soup takes a bit of time. By cooking in stages, you are layering flavors to add depth to the soup. Try it. Trust me, your soup will be the better for it. Add a salad and warm loaf of bread for a quick, healthy work night meal.
Chef Brenda’s Beef Barley Soup
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 pound beef stew meat
- 1 pound meaty beef bones (such as beef shank bones)
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup pearl barley
- 4 cups water
- 2 14 1/2-ounce cans beef broth
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 10-ounce package frozen corn kernels
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 11/2 cups frozen peas
- 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
- Add stew meat and bones; sauté until beef is dark brown, about 8 minutes.
- Transfer beef and bones to plate.
- Add celery, onion, and barley to pot. Sauté until onion is golden, about 15 minutes.
- Add 4 cups water, beef broth, tomatoes with juices, corn, bay leaves, and garlic powder. Return beef and bones to pot and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until beef is almost tender, about 1 hour.
- Add peas and 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce to soup.
- Cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 30 minutes longer.
- Season the soup to taste with salt, pepper, and more hot pepper sauce, if desired.
With soup like this you will welcome cold weather!