Soup is my favorite food group. It is warm, it makes you feel better and it can take on so many shapes and forms.
Soup is also my favorite thing to cook. I should admit up front that I am not a baker. I am more of a “cooker”. The challenge with baking for me is that you have to be very precise. With cooking, it is just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. And if something doesn’t work, you adjust accordingly.
Last week, I was on a soup cooking mission, so I decided for once to slow down and actually keep track of how I do it. I actually have made this recipe for Beef Barley Soup countless times. This time, I just took the time to write it all down and share with you.
I will say thought that this soup is a process. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Maybe that is why I love it so much. Sometimes I add a whole bunch of barley and it is even thicker and sticks to your ribs. Sometimes I add more tomatoes. Sometimes I add different herbs that I might have around. The basic idea is that you can adjust this recipe to your liking or make it exactly as it is listed!
I should also clarify that this is a recipe for a making a full pot of soup. It serves the four of us with plenty of leftovers. We freeze some and refrigerate the rest.
Beef Barley Soup
Stew Meat – 1.25 lbs. – I choose to dice mine down smaller than it comes from the butcher
Small Onions – 1 1/2
Garlic – 1 Tablespoon
Black Pepper – 1 Tablespoon
Diced Tomatoes – 1 28 oz. can
Celery – 10 stalks
Beef Broth – 12 cups
Carrots – 8
Uncooked Barley – 1 1/4 cups
Cut up the stew meat into smaller pieces (optional)
Dice your onions
Add the meat and the onions to the pot and set on medium heat. If you have a thinner base pot, you should add a dash of butter or oil to keep it from burning. With a thicker base pot, this is usually not needed. Keeping cooking till it is all brown on the outside of the meat and the onions have started to soften.
Add the garlic and black pepper
Add the diced tomatoes
White the tomatoes are heating up in the pot, I dice up my celery and then add it into the pot
Add the beef broth
Start peeling and slicing your carrots and then add to the pot
Heat on medium to low heat for about 45 minutes
Add the barley and cook for another 45 minutes or until barley is soft
Other tips – sometimes the beef broth doesn’t bring a ton of flavor so I will add a teaspoon or so of beef bouillon. Actually I use Better than Bouillon, it is amazing. You can also serve with some parmesan cheese.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is a perfect dinner with salad and bread. And, if freezes quite well also. I wait till it cools down, put it in freezer bags and then lay them on a cookie sheet in the freezer. Just try to remember to go get the cookie sheet once it is frozen or you will be wondering what the heck happened to your cookie sheets!
Thanks so much for reading.