I always start my beef and barley soup with leftovers, as I do most soups. So, as you will find becomes a theme in this book, you need to start with something else; in this case, you begin by enjoying a nice roast beef dinner. Next day, you launch into this recipe.
1 cup cubed left-over roast beef (The quantity here truly is irrelevant, just so long as you have some beef in the broth. Alternatively, you can use fresh stewing beef if you wish.)
3-4 cups beef broth (You can achieve this by making stock from the roast’s bones, by thinning leftover gravy, or by using a low sodium canned beef stock.)
½ cup barley (pearl or pot, doesn’t make much difference)
2 large onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
3 carrots peeled and cubed (or you can use leftovers from the roast or frozen)
3 celery stalks peeled and coarsely diced
1 tablespoon fresh winter savoury, finely minced (thyme or rosemary will substitute well)
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large, heavy stock pot drizzle some olive oil and allow to heat. To this add the onions, carrots and celery and allow to develop a bit of colour to build flavour. Add beef and garlic and allow to brown a bit. Add barley and stir well so the juices all get happy together. Add stock, seasoning and herbs. Stir well. Cover and let simmer until barley is soft, about 1 hour.
Freezes fairly well. This can also be done in a crock pot while you’re away. Just brown off the veg and meat the night before and place all ingredients in the crock pot in the morning, to simmer all day.
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