Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Beef, Mushroom and Barley Soup

Mmmmm! This soup is so yummy! It really warms you from the inside out, and it's filling!

2 cups of barley (I use the regular kind that you have to boil for a while)
2 lbs of beef chunks
2 shallots, minced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb cleaned, sliced mushrooms
two 32 oz cartons of beef broth
olive oil
1/4 cup dried parsley

Follow the directions on the bag of barley for cooking. Mine basically said to add 8 cups of water and boil for 45 minutes to an hour to soak up all the water.

While the barley is doing it's thing, cut up the beef chunks. I usually buy beef chunks at the store, but then I like to cut them up smaller for this soup. I also take that time to cut out any really big hunks of fat. Saute the beef in about 1 tbsp of olive oil.

While the beef and barley are cooking, mince the shallots and garlic.

So, my barley wasn't done and the water was almost gone. I added both cartons of beef broth to it and brought it back to a boil. Drain the fat from the meat when it's done cooking and add the meat to the barley. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan the beef was in. When that heats up, add the shallots and garlic. Stir often. You don't want this to burn, just cook until softened. When the garlic and shallots are soft, add them to the barley and meat. Add dried parsley.

Brown the mushrooms in the same pan, working in batches so you don't over crowd them. I think it was Julia Child who said "Don't crowd the mushrooms". They just won't brown if you over crowd them. Also add more olive oil if you need it. When each batch of mushrooms is ready, add it to the pot of soup.

Let everything simmer for about a half an hour, then serve with some bread. I always have leftovers, which freeze and re-heat well. I also added fresh ground pepper to everything that went into the saute pan. I didn't use salt because my hubby and I are both pre-hypertensive and I used regular beef broth instead of low sodium. If you need more salt, add it.

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