We eat a lot of soup at Clean Slate Farm. Roasted tomato, butternut squash, potato leek, French onion, chicken, and turkey. But then there is beef barley soup. Soups make up some of our favorite dinners, especially during winter after plowing the drive or feeding the critters. Soups just make a perfect dinner on a cold night.
However, of all the soups we make Joanne and I agree beef barley is our favorite with roasted tomato right on its heels. The difference is we can make the beef barley soup pretty much on the fly at any time we want. The tomato soup needs to be made when we have tomatoes.
To freeze soups for later use put two cups of cooled soup in a labeled Zip-Lock Freezer bag and lay them flat on a sheet pan. Place them in the freezer until totally frozen. There's a video below on how to cool stock and soups safely before freezing or refrigeration. If you don't have one, a kitchen thermometer is a good thing to have handy for all sorts of cooking and baking activities.
We make a lot of these soups and freeze them in two cup portions, perfect for a side of soup for two people. Often we have soup and a sandwich or soup and salad. Great dinners that can be made fast.
This soup was inspired by a recipe found in an old copy of Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. Of course, I took some liberties with the recipe. Enjoy!
Barley is one of the first cultivated grains, going back some 13,000 years. According to Medical News Today, barley has these health benefits:
Barley may have benefits for the heart, blood pressure, and bonesBarley may be useful in maintaining a healthy weightBarley provides a high percentage of the daily requirement of manganese and seleniumBarley is a good source of dietary fiber
28 ounces chopped tomato, with juice
1 1/2 pounds stew meat , 1/2 inch pieces
7 cups beef stock- 2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, medium dice
2 medium carrots, medium dice
1 cup celery, medium dice
1/2 tsp. wocesterchire sauce
1/2 cup green pepper, medium dice
1 cup barley, par cooked
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
Par cook the barley in a sauce pan. It should be cooked so there is no water left and the barley is "al dente" or about 85 percent cooked. For a more firm texture cook to about 60% done.
While the barley is cooking, brown the beef with olive oil in a heavy pot in batches over medium heat. Drain the pot of juices but reserve them.
Add onions to the pot and sautéed for 3 to 5 minutes or until fragrant. Return the beef to the pot and add the tomatoes.
Simmer this for 10 minutes. Add the beef stock, carrot, and celery. Let this simmer for 15 minutes then add the pepper and barley.
Simmer until the barley and carrots are fully cooked.