Monday, December 6, 2010

Beef, Barley and Mushroom Soup

I'm thinking Christmas is approaching a little too fast this year.  I'm not sure if it's just me, or if it's because all the stores make me feel like if I haven't started my shopping by the beginning of November, than I'm running way behind by the time the first week of December rolls around.  I'm just not in that kind of a hurry this year.  I want to take this month in before it rolls right on by!  It's kind of a jam-packed month for us, with mine and my husbands birthdays being eleven days apart.  It's always been a little strange having a birthday so close to the busiest time of year, but my hope is that this year we will be able to slow down and celebrate each other!

Ok, so now on to some really good soup!  I slightly adapted this recipe from HungryCravings and it was all that I had hoped it would be!  It's super hearty and full of flavor.  I can't tell you how wonderful it made my house smell...and the leftovers were just as great!  Ok, so as you can probably tell in the picture above that the soup looks a little thick.  Well, I didn't use as much stock as I should have, so I listed it properly on the recipe.  It was still REALLY yummy soup!

Beef, Barley and Mushroom Soup {serves 6-8}

  • 3 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 lbs. lean sirloin steak, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 to 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  • 1 cup pearled barley {rinsed}
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Heat a large, stock pot over medium-high heat until hot.  Add the oil and half of the beef {season with salt and pepper} and cook for 5-7 minutes, turning once.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef to a plate.  Brown the remaining beef and set aside on plate.  Reduce heat to medium, add the shallot, celery, and carrot, season with salt and pepper, and saute for 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add the garlic and tomato paste and saute 3-4 minutes more.  Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and saute about 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add the wine and simmer for 1 minute, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Return the beef to the pot and add the broth, bay leaf, and thyme.  Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 1 hour {I actually simmered for 1 hour on the stove and 1 hour in the oven at 300 degrees because I had to leave the house}.  **Add barley the last 45 minutes of simmering time. If you add it too soon, it will swell and become too soggy.
Once barley is tender, remove from heat, discard the bay leaf and thyme sprig.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.  
Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread!

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