Have you and/or your family gotten sick yet this year? It's a doozy! So I have a recommendation for you. Make a big pot of this beef and barley soup. Eat some, then freeze some. So if/when you get sick, you have something nourishing and comforting to eat without any work.
My sweet friend Katy dropped off some chicken and orzo soup to us this afternoon, and it was so very much appreciated by my whole family. We've been subsisting on take-out, crackers, and applesauce; thus, a filling and healthy meal was a treat. So I have another suggestion. Make a big pot of this soup. Split it in half, and then take half to a friend who's sick. I know you have a sick friend who could use this, no? Tis the season for giving, and all.
Oh, and about this soup? It's really very good. Tender beef, a rich broth, and filling barley. This soup far exceeded our expectations. It takes only minutes to prepare, and the payoff is huge. This immediately became one of our favorites soups, and I'm already planning to make it again very soon… to share with friends, of course.
adapted from The Make-Ahead Cook
serves 6 to 8
- 2 medium white or yellow onions, chopped fine
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs minced fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/3 cup pearl barley
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2-3 lbs beef blade roast, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 4 chunks
- kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, for serving
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the onions, tomato paste, oil, thyme, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir well to combine and microwave for 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Stir in the tomatoes, beef broth, chicken broth, carrots, soy sauce, wine, and barley. Generously season the beef with salt and pepper and nestle it into the slow cooker.
Cover and cook until the beef is tender, 9 to 10 hours on low, or 6 to 7 hours on high.
Carefully transfer the beef to a cutting board. When it's cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces with 2 forks, discarding any fat.
Use a large spoon to skim any fat from the surface of the soup. Stir in the shredded beef and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the parsley and serve.