Need a good cold-weather cure? I can't change the weather, but I can offer soup! I bought a bag of pearl barley a couple months ago after reading how it's such a good whole grain. And then I realized I had exactly zero recipes that required barley.
Finally found one! Beef Barley Soup, again from Cooking Light (This time we're going wayyyy back to November 2009. I keep things.)
Here are the players, plus boneless chuck roast, cut into chunks. I used stew meat, and I have no idea if they're the same thing! It worked for the end result, though.
This is one of those recipes that I think you could play a lot with. Add more veggies or different veggies. Just make sure you have enough liquid remaining to cook the barley!
First, you brown the meat.
As that was browning, I sliced carrots and celery and onions, oh my! Sometimes I remember to feel so grateful that I can have fresh (or freshly imported, whatever) veggies year round.
Then I chopped the beef into much smaller bites. I don't like large hunks of meat.
And while I was doing that, the veggies were cooking away.
Then you add beef broth and a bay leaf, put the beef back in, and let it all simmer for an hour and a half. I let it simmer almost two because we got engrossed in a show.
Stir in the pearl barley and simmer for thirty more minutes or until the barley is tender.
All I can say is: pure, beefy goodness. I'm not a huge beef fan (Call me a faux Midwesterner and please forgive me...), but this was just perfect for the cold weather we've been having. And a serving is two full cups, so you really are getting a whole, satisfying bowl of soup.
Beef Barley Soup
Serves 4 (serving size: 2 cups)
3/4 pound (I used 1.2 pounds) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces (stew meat)
1 1/2 c. thinly sliced carrot
1 1/2 c. thinly sliced celery
2/3 c. chopped onion
1 8-oz. pkg sliced mushrooms
4 c. fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
2/3 c. uncooked pearl barley
salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add beef to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove beef from pan. Add carrot, celery, onion and mushroom to pan; cook 6 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add beef, beef broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until beef is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in pearl barley; cover and simmer 30 minutes or until pearl barley is tender. Discard bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
11.4 g fat
36.2 g carbs
8.2 g fiber
24.1 g protein