Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beef Barley Soup

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)
cooking spray
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.
Per Serving:
341 calories
11.4 g fat
36.2 g carbs
8.2 g fiber
24.1 g protein

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