Monday, January 9, 2012

Vegetable Barley Soup with Beef

A few days ago, I decided to slow-cook a roast beef.  I used a recipe from All Recipes that called for only 1/2 C of water. I thought that seemed to be not much liquid at all but decided that 40 people and 5 stars knew what they were talking about.

12 hours later, I arrived home to a dish hanging out in the slow cooker on warm that smelled amazing and was dryer than a pumice stone. We went out for pizza. Joey offered to douse the meat with A1 sauce and eat it for lunch but I was disappointed I couldn't think of what to do with it but slice it and throw it in the fridge.

The carrots, which were immersed in the liquid were fantastic and I ate those for lunch.  After Joey had some meat for lunch he decided that the meat tasted a lot like soup meat. He suggested we make some soup and add the meat.  I'm not much into making soup but I was game for trying to resurrect my dreadful roast.

I searched the web and spoke to my soup-making sister and came up with a game plan.  I followed two recipes tweaking them as the soup simmered.  I think the result is rather delicious but time will tell when we eat it for real tomorrow.

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's Chunky Turkey Vegetable Soup and MyRecipes Beef & Barley.

1 C pearl barley
4 carrots, diced
3 celery spears, diced in crescents
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes in juice
1 box beef broth
1 C water
2 bay leaves
2 T tomato paste
1 tsp olive oil
2 C cooked beef, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped

1. Chop all the vegetables before you start cooking because once you start things go faster than expected.
2. In a large pot with a lid, heat olive oil over medium.  Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
3. When onion is soft, add tomato paste and stir
4. Add tomatoes and their juice, celery, broth, water, carrots, bay leaves, rosemary and salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil.
5. Once the soup has started to boil, add the zucchini and barley and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until barley is cooked
6. Remove bay leaves and add beef. Leave on the burner until the beef is warmed through and serve
7. If you eat the soup right away ignore this step. If you don't eat the soup immediately, the liquid may absorb completely into the barley. Keep extra beef broth on hand to revitalize the liquid for your next bowl. Just scoop out the soup you want and add enough broth for your tastes. You could probably add broth & water if you are so inclined.

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