Beef and Barley Soup
Beef stew meat is a great bargain, cut from tougher cuts of beef that are best cooked low and slow. This classic soup takes a pound of beef, some vegetables and grain for a hearty soup to feed a crowd.
- 3 tablespoons unbleached flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound lean stew meat, cut into 1" chunks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes , canned, with juice
- 1/2 cup pearled barley
- 1 quart beef stock (to keep costs down, use a concentrated soup paste or bouillon or make your own stock)
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In a shallow bowl combine flour and salt. Dredge chunks of meat in flour mixture to coat completely.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil, then quickly brown chunks of beef.
To cook in a slow cooker: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to the crock pot and add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 7 hours, and adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
To cook on the stovetop: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a bowl when it is browned on the outside but not cooked through. To the oil in the pan, add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, celery, tomato, barley, stock, water, thyme, bay leaf and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, just barely bubbling. Cook for 30 minutes, and test the barley to see if it's tender. If necessary, simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Calories: 221, Fat: 7 g, Cholesterol: 20 mg, Sodium: 642 mg, Carbohydrate: 27 g, Dietary Fiber: 5 g, Protein: 13 g