Nothing says cold weather comfort to me more than a beef stew. On the days where you're snowed in or when it's just bitter cold outside, beef stew is my food of choice. This recipe is for a Beef and Barley Soup which I loved making. I'm sure this will warm you up just as well as it did for me!
Do you have to Brown Meat?
You'll see most soup recipes call for browning meat. While you could omit this step and still have a tasty soup, browning the meat is done to impart more flavor. The caramelized surface of the meat and fond (the brown bits sticking to the bottom of the pan) is all added flavor that you won't get from seasonings or beef broth. It also makes for an easier cleanup if you brown the meat in a dutch oven or whatever you are making the soup in, because adding liquid to the pan will deglaze it and lift all the browned bits.
What is the difference between a soup and stew?
Here in America we tend to use soup and stew almost interchangeably. But then again we are the place that makes tater tot casseroles and has spray cheese (no hate, both delicious!). The main difference between a soup and stew is the amount of liquid the dish contains. A soup will have ample liquid with enough room for the meat and veggies to float. A stew will have less liquid and often the consistency will be more gravy like as the end result. There's some grey area in between these definitions, but all of it is delicious.
What is Barley?
Barley is a type of cereal grain that can be found worldwide. It has a mild nutty flavor and can be used in breads, soups and a wide variety of cooking. It's becoming a bit more common to see barley in grocery stores, I've been able to find it at Trader Joes, Target, Whole Foods and most specialty food stores will carry it.
Tips for making Beef and Barley Soup
- Brown the meat first (you'll love it, trust me!)
- Use a dutch oven or large pot for cooking
- Substitute Rice for the Barley if needed (though you'll need to adjust your cook times)
- Chop veggies into consistent sizes
- Tie the fresh herbs together with kitchen twine for easy removal
Check out these soup recipes as well:
- Roasted Garlic Soup
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup
- Italian Wedding Soup
- French Onion Soup
- New England Corn Chowder
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Beef and Barley Soup
Enjoy a delicious meal with this recipe for Beef and Barley Soup. This classic is best served on chilly days as the ultimate warm up.
- 1 Pound Beef Top Round Steak Cubed
- ½ Cup Flour
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Yellow Onion Minced
- ¼ Cup Celery Sliced Thinly
- 16 Oz Beef Broth
- 2 Cups Water
- ⅓ Cup Barley
- 1 Cup Carrots Sliced
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 2-3 Sprigs Fresh Parsley
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2-3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
Toss cubed beef in flour to lightly coat all sides. Heat a large dutch oven or pot on medium high. Add oil and when oil is heated add meat to brown on all sides. Once browned, remove meat and set aside.
Add onion and celery to the same pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth and water to pan, stirring until all the browned bits at the bottom are loosened.
Add barley and carrots to the pot and return beef as well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Tie fresh herbs together with cooking twine and add to the pot.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until barley and carrots are cooked through. Remove herbs and enjoy!
Does this recipe look familiar? It first appeared on my other website, The Brooklyn Cook.