Since the weather has turned cooler I’ve been thinking about consuming a hearty bowl of vegetable beef and barley soup. This recipe was adapted from the Smitten Kitchen’s Beef, Leek and Barley Soup. My sister Kelly told me that she had made it and thought it was really good, she also mentioned she added peas to hers. I was sold but I needed a little more in my soup than that… so I added carrots, turnips and the peas, but I also kept the leeks, beef and barley 🙂
In the Smitten Kitchen recipe it said two meaty beef short ribs. My local grocery store stopped selling bone-in. So I bought 2 lbs boneless beef short ribs. But you could make this the same way using bone in. It doesn’t really matter, as long as it short ribs… yum!
In my early twenties I attempted soup and failed miserably. It might have been the overdose of fresh thyme. Or that I put it all in a crock pot– even the noodles. The noodles absorbed almost all of the broth and they swelled to enormous proportions. It was a soup failure so big that I didn’t want to try it again. Ever. The End.
But just like yeasty bread dough, I was determined to overcome my fears. I did. Eventually. So trust me when I say this vegetable beef and barley soup is SUPER (souper?!) easy. I encourage you to make it because it is healthy, delicious and fool proof.
To Make This Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup You Will Need:
beef short ribs, Beef Stock, Fresh Ground Pepper and peas.
Leek… it looks like a giant green onion but has a more subtle onion flavor and are perfect in soups, salads or pasta.
Trim off the ends and the top leafy parts and discard.
Peel off the tough outer layer.
Start at one end and slice in half. You could stop here and rinse under cool water as you fan out each layer.
Or you could turn the leeks, cut side down and start chop.
You want them like a quarter to half inch half moons I’m eyeballing it here.
If you’ve never cooked with leeks before don’t freak out if there is dirt on your cutting board. As they come up through the ground dirt gets trapped in its layers. But that’s why you always rinse them before you cook with them!
Throw them in a bowl. A large bowl.
Run some cool water over top and swish them around breaking them up and all the dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl.
Now here comes the fun part. Place all of the boneless short ribs in to a large pot. Add the leeks by skimming them off the top of the water and adding them directly to the pot.
Cut, peel and chop a yellow onion into a large dice. Now add the onion to the leeks in the pot.
Now grab the turnips and carrots. You will need 2 to 3 carrots and 4 smallish turnips.
AHHH the turnip. Which should not to be confused with rutabaga. They are similar yet different. Turnips are the best in stews and soups because they hold their shape and have an earthier flavor than the potato. Not to mention they are a good source of vitamin C!
Now peel both the turnips and the carrots.
Slice the carrots into coins.
Trim off the ends of the turnip. Cut them in half and in to large bite size pieces.
Add both the carrots and the turnips to the pot along with the leeks and onions.
This is my new favorite pepper.
Grind up some fresh pepper on top of those veggies.
Next pour in 2 quarts of beef stock.
Now the time has come for the barley. It took me forever to locate this barley in my grocery store. I thought it would be by the quinoa or flax and it wasn’t by the rice and couscous. I found it in the international aisle by its lonesome. Who knew?
Measure out a half cup of the barley.
And add it to the soup.
Give it a stir and set on a burner over medium/ medium low heat and let it simmer for 3 hours.
After the three hours are up, pull out the meat. This is when you add the peas, they only need a minute or so and then they’ll be a bright green in color!
Give it a chop. I like big chunks of meat in my soup. But do it however you like!
Now add it back in!
Serve this Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup with crusty bread or next to a grilled cheese sandwich!
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