Beef Barley Soup

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Having worked in a few diners in my day, soups are a staple on most menus. I’ve made and served a lot of homemade soups. My Beef Barley Soup was definitely a favorite.

Chicken Broth

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Stuffing (2)



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Olive Oil

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I’m using beef stock instead of broth. The beef stock as compared to the beef broth adds a real depth of flavor.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 3 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) saucepot, 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, c hef’s knife

1 1/2 cups of pearled barley, uncooked
1 quart of chicken broth, unsalted
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 pounds of lean ground sirloin (90% lean)
1 1/2 to 2 quarts of beef stock, unsalted
1 onion, 1-inch dice
1 cup of leafy-top carrots, 1-inch dice
1 cup of celery, 1-inch dice, include leafy tops
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated for garnish
Homemade Ciabatta Croutons for garnish
Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Start by adding chicken broth into a large saucepot. Add the barley to the chicken broth. Over medium-high heat, bring up to a boil. Add the olive oil and Kosher salt. Stir, reduce the heat to low, stirring occasionally, simmer the barley  for 40 to 45 minutes or until the grains are tender but still chewy.

If there is any cooking liquid left, pour the barley through a mesh sieve to drain any excess liquid. Pour the cooked barley into a large bowl.

In the meantime, in a large heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat add olive oil. To the oil, add the diced onions, stirring frequently, cook until the onions become translucent 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add garlic, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine.

Add the ground sirloin. Using a wooden spoon, break the meat up and cook, stirring occasionally until the meat is no longer pink, 7 to 10 minutes.

Next, add the carrots, celery, and the fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juice, stir to combine. Stirring frequently, continue to cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the beef stock. Add enough beef stock so that the liquid comes up to around 2 inches from the top of the pot.

Note: If you think you don’t have enough liquid, you can always add water.

Still, over medium-high heat, bring everything up to a bubble before reducing the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 30 minutes. At this point add the cooked barley, stir to combine.

Continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and cover. Soup is ready. Garnish with freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

There you have it, my Beef Barley Soup.

Wait!, what about Homemade Ciabatta Croutons for the top. I just happen to have a nice baguette leftover from yesterday. This bread will work perfectly for homemade croutons. All I did was to slice the baguette on the bias, drizzle the slices with olive oil, dried parsley flakes, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper and toasted them off in the oven until golden brown. “Soups On!