It's Fall and the weather is cooling down. We've even had snow already, in Denver! On really cold days, all I can think of is warm, delicious, hearty soups. Which means, I might actual make metemgee soon. Well, we'll see how it comes out. Ha.
About this soup... I originally was in the mood for oxtail or cow heel soup on the coldest day we've had so far, but my pressure cooker is broken and boiling oxtail and cow heel can take forever. Then it came to me, why not just make beef soup. So I went to the supermarket to get some beef (I don't keep beef frozen because I feel it gets a bit card board like when frozen for too long). At the supermarket they had these glorious beef rib bones, then I happened upon some leeks. It was clear that I had the beginnings of a delicious soup. When I got home I said let's add some barley and make this a really hearty and filling meal. It was so delicious, that I was in a serious food coma when I was finished eating.
Here's the recipe, try it for yourself on a cold fall night, it's guaranteed to warm you up.
The main ingredients for this soup are...
Beef and Barley Soup (Serves generous 6)
1 lb Beef (cut into 2 inch chunks)
1 lb of Beef Bones (I'm using Beef ribs)
1 cup of barley
2 cups of boiling water
3 leeks (washed and chopped into thin slices)
3 tablespoon oil
3 large carrots (Diced into 1 inch chunks)
2 large potatoes (Diced into 1 inch chunks)
½ cup of chopped celery (chopped into 1 inch chunks)
¼ cup of fresh thyme (leaves removed from stem)
2 corn on the cob (cut into 1 inch pieces)
8 cups of beef broth (or water) and an additional 4 cups of water
6 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 wiri wiri peppers or other hot pepper (whole)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Soak barley in 2 cups of boiling water and set aside. In a large stock pot on medium heat, saute leeks in oil, until leeks are soft and brown. Add a pinch of salt to help bring out the flavor. Season beef bones with a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper then, add to leeks and continue to saute, stirring once or twice until bones are brown. Season beef with a pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper, then add to stock pot. Continue to saute for about 3 minutes. Drain water from the barley and add to the leeks, bones and beef. Then add, corn, carrots, potatoes, celery, garlic, thyme, wiri wiri pepper, beef stock and brown sugar. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the barley is fully cooked. You may need to add about 4 cups of water along the way if the soup becomes too quick before the barley cooks. Once the barley is fully cooked and soft, remove from heat and serve hot.
Tips and Ramblings:
1. I used rib eye steak in my soup instead of stew beef, because I wanted the beef to be nice and fatty and tender. The marble in the steak provided that, but you can use stew beef and just let it simmer until the beef is really tender for the same effect.
2. Some people may choose to boil the barley before adding to the soup, I like to have the barley cook with the soup for added flavor.
3. My husband hates potatoes so I usually try to let the potato melt away and serve as a thickener in the soup. If you love potatoes you can choose to add them after the soup has been boiling for a while. This way, they will still be nice and chunky when the soup is done cooking.
4. I add the wiri wiri pepper whole to the soup for flavor then, cut it open at the end, once I've set aside some soup for my son.
5. I served some of this soup to my 15 month old son, who just said yum, yum, yum with every bite. 🙂