There’s a time and place for standing outside and grilling all day long. Then, there’s time to admit that a great hearty soup is pretty damned amazing when it needs to be. With cold short days on the horizon, that day is coming faster than I would like to admit. When it hits, no matter how cute your fluffy boots are, and you are trapped inside, make this Beef and Barley Soup. It’s packed with big bites of beef to fill you up and loaded with other savory bits and pieces so that you will survive the winter and live to grill another day.
Soup, it’s not always for sick days.
- 1 1/2 lbs beef trimmings, cut into 1" cubes
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbs olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 8oz baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, and sliced thin
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6 cups beef stock
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- handful chopped fresh parsley
- Heat 2 tbs oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat until just smoking.
- Season the beef liberally with salt and pepper and toss into the pot. Cook until just browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1 tbs oil, and cook the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes, until starting to brown. Add the mushrooms and cook 5 to 7 minutes longer until water has evaporated from the mushrooms.
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute until toasted. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add the bay leaves, thyme, and beef stock. Bring to a boil and add the barley. Keep the temperature at a simmer and cook 45 minutes longer. Return the beef, and any accumulated juices, to the pot. Cook 10 minutes longer to heat through.
- Sprinkle with parsley and ladle into bowls.