I took inventory of the soup in the freezer and discovered we are down to only two cartons of soup…..one was French onion soup and the other was a smokey split-pea. I also found a beef chuck roast that is getting a bit of a freezer burn but I’m using it anyway to make this nice batch of chunky beef-barley soup. A little freezer burn won’t hurt it.
Soup is good at our house any season, any time, any meal! Usually I make a big huge pot of soup that will fill about a dozen three-cup plastic freezer containers. I’m sure you don’t plan to make that big of a batch so I broke the recipe down to serve eight to ten hungry soup lovers.
This chunky beef-barley soup is thick, hearty and nutritious, we had it for dinner tonight, and it was soooo good. It is full of big chunks of beef, carrots, celery, mushrooms and tomatoes with pear barley that thickens it up nicely. All we added was a slice of thick, seed-crusted, multi-grain bread from the Costco bakery and a glass of Don’s home-crafted merlot red wine. Perfect!
- 2-3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil (for browning the beef)
- 2 or 3 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (see notes)
- 1 large onions, chopped
- 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cups carrots, cut into large 1/2-inch pieces
- 8 ounces small whole white mushrooms, cut in half
- 4 cans (14 ounces each) beef broth
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 can (14 ounces each) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice….I used parsley, thyme, rosemary and sage
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the beef chunks, working in batches. Remove each batch as it browns and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any oil.
- Add the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and mushrooms to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the browned beef back to the pot and add the beef broth, wine and tomatoes.
- In a small dish, mix the tomato paste with 1 cup of water, stir to combine it well and add it to the soup pot. Add the pearl barley, chopped herbs, bay leaves, salt and pepper and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, remove and discard the bay leaves and ladle the soup into serving bowls.