Beef and Barley Soup

Due to a grocery shopping error I have a lot of barley on hand, so I have been thinking of what to do with this abundance.

As I did my planning for this week, I opted against our usual Monday night pizza in favor of beef and barley soup so that I could avoid the mad rush for pizza on Halloween night. I looked up several recipes and couldn’t find one that I liked. Many of them looked bland, appeared to skimp on the meat, or in general didn’t look hearty.

So I picked up what looked good and set myself to making something I would enjoy. I gathered my ingredients (ignore the tomato paste I grabbed in my photo-taking haste and pretend it’s garlic).

fullsizeoutput_b94d

I started by prepping my vegetables (mainly so that I could use my favorite knife for all of my chopping). I chopped the onion with my food processor so that I didn’t have watery eyes.

And then I peeled and sliced the parsnips and carrots.

And sliced the celery.

Dried mushrooms (morel and porcini) caught my eye, but it’s important to remember that they are still dirty. I brushed them hard to remove the dirt, and then cleaned the board and chopped them to use as a coating on the beef.

I also used a mix of fresh wild mushrooms, that I rinsed well.

img_5766

Last, I trimed then cubed the beef. I prefer meat in soups to be very lean so that you don’t bite into anything tough. Once I cleaned it, I seasoned it with salt and pepper, then my chopped dried mushrooms (unfortunately forgetting to take the picture with the mushrooms).

I started with the mushrooms, mincing the garlic into them and cooking them on medium high heat until they were golden.

I set the mushrooms aside and browned the beef.

img_5773

Then I set aside the beef with the mushrooms and set to cooking my vegetables. I seasoned them with pepper and added the sprigs of thyme. I continued to cook them about 5 minutes until the onion was just tender.

Before returning the beef and mushrooms to the pan, I deglazed it with about ½ cup of the broth.

img_5778

Then I returned the beef to the pan and added in the broth, bay leaf, and finally the barley.

img_5779

img_5780

img_5782

I combined it all and brought it to a boil before reducing the heat and allowing it to simmer for 1½ hours.

img_5783

img_5784

It was really tasty and exactly the consistency and flavor profile I was hoping to have.

Enjoy!

img_5785

img_5786

Beef-Barley Soup

Prep 30 mins ∙ Cook 1 hr 30 mins ∙ Makes Yield: 6-8 servings ∙ Difficulty Easy ∙ Source Shannon Stacey

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 parsnips, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, mixed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into ½” pieces
  • a few dried mushrooms, brushed very clean and finely chopped (optional)
  • 4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup uncooked pearl barley

DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When hot, add mushrooms and garlic, cook until golden, then set aside.

Salt and pepper the beef, then sprinkle the chopped dried mushrooms on the beef. Add beef to pan; cook until browned, stirring frequently, then set aside with the mushrooms.

Add the onion to the pan, followed by the carrot, celery, parsnips, and thyme sprigs to pan; season with pepper and cook until the onion is translucent. Add about ½ cup of broth to the pan to deglaze the bottom, then return the beef and mushrooms to the pan. Add in the remainder of the broth with the bay leaf and barley.

Bring the soup to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-1½ hours or until beef is tender and barley is cooked, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Paprika Recipe

Advertisements

Moroccan Chicken Wednesday

Over the years I have had to travel for work and one of my favorite benefits of this travel has always been that I get to try new foods. It it one of the many things that encouraged me to expand my palate and my pantry. I haven’t travelled as much frequently, but this desire has stuck with me. As I mentioned in my previous post, I returned this week to preparing menus. Skimming through Epicurious (have you figured out it’s a favorite site of mine) I came across this recipe for Moroccan Chicken. Artichoke hearts are among my favorite ingredients so it landed on the menu. I made a few changes for our benefit (seasoning the meat, canned versus frozen artichokes, and extra garlic). 

It would have easily fed 8, in fact I had so much leftover I elected to share it at work today. Not only was it well received at home, but it was also thoroughly enjoyed there.

My husband called on the way home and asked if I was making a salad and if I needed bread, “No, but if you are stopping to get bread, pick up stuff for a salad.” I must commend him, not only did he pick up stuff, he did some quick research online and decided what would go with the dish. We ended up with an olive baguette and a salad with spinach, Swiss chard, arugula, chickpeas, carrots, dates (which he’d never tried before), shallot, goat cheese, and fattoush dressing. It rivaled his mother’s salads, it was delicious and a perfect complement to the stew. 

   
 Moroccan Chicken Stew with Artichoke Hearts and Carrots

Prep 45 mins ∙ Cook 30 mins ∙ Makes 6–8 ∙ Source Bonappetit.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, large, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans artichoke hearts
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Steamed couscous
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt & pepper

  

DIRECTIONS

Lightly salt and thoroughly pepper the chicken.

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender and starting to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and next 4 ingredients and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

   
 Add broth and lemon zest and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; stir in chicken, artichoke hearts, and carrots; simmer until vegetables are tender and chicken is just cooked through, 10–15 minutes.

   
 Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide couscous among shallow bowls; spoon stew over and garnish with parsley.


Middle Eastern Salad

Prep 10 mins ∙ Makes 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 oz. mixed greens (i.e., spinach, arugula, and swiss chard)
  • ~1 cup shredded carrots
  • handful of mint leaves
  • ~1 cup chickpeas
  • ⅛ cup dates, diced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • fattoush dressing, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Toss all ingredients together, serve with dressing.

Thanksgiving Leftovers – Round 2

I didn’t post Round 1, as that was just the basics on Friday: put together a plate of what you had on Thursday and reheat. It isn’t glamorous and there is a point when your are done with Thanksgiving dinner. 

Yesterday we had a bit of soup and a few snacks with the crazy football and soccer day that we had scheduled. Today, I started on how to reuse the leftovers so that we weren’t all sick of turkey by the end of the week. 

I started this morning with the stuffing; I’m not sure how but I had an entire untouched 9×13″ pan of stuffing. I placed ham into well-buttered cups of my muffin tin, and then pressed in the stuffing to form cups:

 
  
I baked these for 20 minutes at 375 and then cracked an egg in each one (large is perfect, extra-large might overflow) and sprinkled with a touch of salt, ground pepper, and pepper jack cheese. I then continued baking for 12 minutes longer. 

  
  
Next time I would use a couple of strips of bacon rather than ham, but good nonetheless.

I continued my modification of leftovers with dinner. I was looking for a soup with sweet potatoes and came across this one for a Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup. This was just the inspiration I needed; we had roasted carrots too.

   
 
I began my soup by sautéing a diced onion in a couple of tablespoons of butter. Once they were soft I stirred in the leftover sweet potatoes and carrots (about 3-4 cups of each) along with a bit of white pepper, 3 cups of broth, and about 1 cup of water. I broght this to a boil and then simmered for about 40 minutes. At the end I simply hit it with the imersion blender and served with a dash of cayenne pepper.