Hearty Soups… Beef & Barley Soup

photo 1

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…

1 lb Beef 1 lb of Beef Bones (I'm using Beef ribs) 1 cup of barley 3 Leeks 3 large carrots 2 large potatoes 1/2 cup of chopped celery 1/4 cup of fresh thyme 2 corn on the cob 8 cups of beef broth (or water) and an additional 4 cups of water 6 cloves of garlic 2 wiri wiri peppers or other hot pepper

1 lb Beef
1 lb of Beef Bones (I’m using Beef ribs)
1 cup of barley
3 Leeks
3 large carrots
2 large potatoes
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/4 cup of fresh thyme
2 corn on the cob
8 cups of beef broth (or water) and an additional 4 cups of water
6 cloves of garlic
2 wiri wiri peppers or other hot pepper

Before you start cooking, soak your barley in about 2 cups of boiling water.

Before you start cooking, soak your barley in about 2 cups of boiling water and set aside.

First you will need to prep the leeks for cooking. Cut off tough green stock of leeks and dice remaining white part into thin slices.  Add to a large bowl of water (I'm using my very clean sink!) Then separate the layers of leeks so that you can wash away the sand from each layer. Once I've washed all the layers, I use a large sieve to scoop them all up and drain the water.

Then, you will need to prep the leeks for cooking. Cut off the tough green stock from the leeks and cut the remaining white part into thin slices.
Add to a large bowl of water (I’m using my very clean sink!)
Then separate the layers of leeks so that you can wash away the sand from each layer. Once I’ve washed all the layers, I use a large sieve to scoop them all up and drain the water.

Next, in a large stock pot on medium heat, saute leeks with about 3 tbsp oil, until leeks are golden brown and soft. Add 1/2 tsp salt to help bring out the flavor of the leeks while they cook.

Next, in a large stock pot on medium heat, saute leeks with about 3 tbsp oil, until leeks are golden brown and soft. Add 1/2 tsp salt to help bring out the flavor of the leeks while they cook.

While the leeks are cooking, season your beef bones with fresh ground black pepper, and some salt (just about 1/4 tsp).

While the leeks are cooking, season your beef bones with fresh ground black pepper, and some salt (just about 1/4 tsp).

Cut your beef into 1 inch chunks and season with black pepper and salt as well.

Cut your beef into 2 inch chunks and season with black pepper and salt as well.

Once the leeks are soft and golden brown in color, add your beef bones and saute, turning once or twice until all the sides have a nice brown color. This helps to bring out the richness in the flavor of the bones.

Once the leeks are soft and golden brown in color, add your beef bones and saute, turning once or twice until all the sides have a nice brown color. This helps to bring out the richness in the flavor of the bones.

Next prep your corn. Peel corn and cut into 1 inch pieces (if you have a good knife and the corn is fresh, this will be pretty easy).

Next prep your corn. Peel corn and cut into 1 inch pieces (if you have a good knife and the corn is fresh, this will be pretty easy).

Chop the potatoes and carrots into small 1 inch cubes cubes.  Chop garlic and celery into chunks.  Remove thyme from stems.

Chop the potatoes and carrots into small 1 inch cubes cubes.
Chop garlic and celery into chunks.
Remove thyme from stems.

Once beef bones have browned for about 5 to 10 minutes, add beef and saute for another 3 minutes. Then add soaked barley (minus the water). Add remaining ingredients followed by beef broth.

Once beef bones have browned for about 5 to 10 minutes, add beef and saute for another 3 minutes.
Then add soaked barley (minus the water). Add remaining ingredients followed by beef broth and 1 tbsp brown sugar.

Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until barley is fully cooked. By the time the barley cooks everything else will be perfectly cooked.

Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until barley is fully cooked. By the time the barley cooks everything else will be perfectly cooked. You may need to add about 4 cups of water along the way, if soup becomes too thick before the barley cooks.

Once the barley cooks, most of the potatoes will melt away and help to form a thick, rich broth.

Once the barley cooks, most of the potatoes will melt away and help to form a thick, rich broth.

I served my soup with a slice of cheesy Texas Toast. It was really delicious.

I served my soup with a slice of cheesy Texas Toast. It was really delicious.

Beef and Barley Soup (Serves generous 6)

Ingredients
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 tbsp oil
3 large carrots (Diced into 1 inch chunks)
2 large potatoes (Diced into 1 inch chunks)
1/2 cup of chopped celery (chopped into 1 inch chunks)
1/4 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 tsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
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. 🙂

Happy Cooking!

Advertisements