Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beef Barley Soup

Soup & stew season is officially up on us. Well, actually, we have been having fantastic weather here in Chicago. I haven't even pulled out the winter coat yet. We'll see how long that lasts. I love the way soups and stews make your house smell so delicious and that you always have lots of leftovers for lunches during the week. One of my favorite things to put in soups is barley, it has such a great flavor and is so good for you. I used "Quicker Beef Vegetable Soup" by David Pazmino as inspiration for my soup. His recipe can be found in Cooks Illustrated Soups and Stews.

1 pound sirloin tip steaks- cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 pound mushrooms- wiped clean and quartered
1 large onion- diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups beef broth
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
4 medium carrots- chopped
2 bay leafs
1 cup dry barley

First, place the beef in a bowl with the soy sauce and set aside for about 15 minutes. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat until it barely starts to smoke, then add in the mushrooms and onions. Stir frequently for about 10 minutes. Cook until onions are nice and brown. Make sure to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Take the vegetables out of the pan and set aside.
Place the beef in the pan and cook until the meat starts to brown, about 8 minutes. Turn the beef as you cook. Add tomato paste and garlic. Cook until you can smell the garlic about 1 minute. Add red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the brown bits. Cook this until it is syrupy, about 2 minutes. Now you can add beef broth, chicken broth, carrots, bay leaves and the onion mushroom mixture.

Bring this to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Approximately 30 minutes before you want to serve, add the barley. When the soup is finished, take out the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.


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