Beef Barley Soup Recipe: A Hearty Classic for Cozy Comfort
When the weather turns chilly and you’re yearning for a comforting meal that warms both body and soul, Beef Barley Soup is the ultimate go-to. This timeless classic combines tender beef, wholesome barley, and an assortment of vegetables in a rich and flavorful broth. In this article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of creating this hearty soup that’s perfect for bringing comfort to any table.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to Beef Barley Soup
- Ingredients You’ll Need
- Preparing the Beef
- Building the Flavorful Base
- Incorporating Vegetables and Barley
- Simmering to Perfection
- Balancing with Herbs and Spices
- Serving and Pairing
- Variations and Additions
- Nutritional Considerations
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- A Warm and Cozy Conclusion
Introduction to Beef Barley Soup
Beef Barley Soup is a beloved classic that embodies comfort in every spoonful. This robust and nourishing dish brings together tender beef, chewy barley, and an array of vegetables in a harmonious blend that’s perfect for warming you up on chilly days.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To embark on this culinary journey, gather these ingredients:
- Beef stew meat (cubed)
- Beef broth
- Pearl barley
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
Preparing the Beef
- Begin by browning the cubed beef stew meat in a pot with a drizzle of olive oil. This step enhances the flavor of the meat.
- Once the beef is browned, transfer it to a plate and set it aside.
Building the Flavorful Base
- In the same pot, sauté diced onion, chopped carrots, and sliced celery until they start to soften and release their aromas.
- Add minced garlic and sauté for another minute, allowing the garlic to become fragrant.
Incorporating Vegetables and Barley
- Return the browned beef to the pot and pour in beef broth. This forms the foundation of the soup’s savory base.
- Add pearl barley and canned diced tomatoes to the pot, enhancing the texture and flavor profile.
Simmering to Perfection
- Toss in bay leaves and thyme, infusing the soup with aromatic goodness.
- Allow the soup to simmer over low to medium heat, giving the ingredients time to meld together and develop depth of flavor.
Balancing with Herbs and Spices
- Season the soup with salt and pepper, adjusting the amounts to your taste preference.
- Continue simmering until the beef is tender and the barley is cooked through.
Serving and Pairing
Ladle the Beef Barley Soup into bowls and serve with a slice of crusty bread or a warm dinner roll. Its hearty nature makes it a complete and satisfying meal on its own.
Variations and Additions
Feel free to personalize your Beef Barley Soup by adding extra vegetables, such as peas or green beans, for added color and nutrition. You can also experiment with different herbs and spices to create unique flavor profiles.
Beef Barley Soup is a source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. Opt for lean beef cuts to make the dish even healthier.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use ground beef instead of stew meat?
While stew meat provides a chunkier texture, you can use ground beef. Brown the ground beef thoroughly before proceeding with the recipe.
Is it possible to make this soup in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. Brown the beef and sauté the vegetables before transferring everything to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
Can I use quick-cooking barley?
Quick-cooking barley has a shorter cooking time. Adjust the cooking time and liquid amount accordingly if using quick-cooking barley.
Can I freeze Beef Barley Soup?
Yes, you can freeze the soup for later enjoyment. Be sure to cool it down completely before storing in airtight containers.
In conclusion, Beef Barley Soup is a bowl of comfort that captures the essence of home-cooked goodness. Its robust flavors and nourishing ingredients make it an all-time favorite for gatherings, weeknight dinners, and moments when you crave something warm and soothing. So, gather your ingredients, set your pot on the stove, and immerse yourself in the joy of creating a meal that’s not just food, but a heartwarming experience that’s sure to become a cherished memory.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound beef stew meat
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 6 cups low sodium beef broth, or low sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- ¾ cup pearl barley, rinsed
- chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the stew beef cubes to the pot and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Cook until browned on all sides and then remove the beef to a clean plate.
Add the onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms to the pot. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the garlic, dried thyme and tomato paste to the pot. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Return the browned beef and any juices from the plate to the pot.
Add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir. Bring the soup to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low so that it maintains a low simmer and cover the pot. Cook at a low simmer for 45 minutes.
Stir in the barley. Cover the pot and simmer for 45-60 more minutes, until the barley and beef are tender.
Remove and discard bay leaves. Stir in more broth if too much has evaporated while cooking, and warm over medium heat if needed. Adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed, to taste. Serve, garnished with fresh parsley.
Nutrition InformationYield 1 Serving Size 1
Amount Per ServingCalories 1474Total Fat 49gSaturated Fat 16gTrans Fat 2gUnsaturated Fat 31gCholesterol 449mgSodium 4671mgCarbohydrates 89gFiber 16gSugar 25gProtein 181g
The information contained herein is subject to change.