Monday, November 26, 2007

Beef and Barley Soup

The winter tires are on, there's a boatload of snow outside, and the fireplaces are going, so let's roll with it. Time for hot soups and stews for thawing you out after stumbling inside from shoveling out the $%@&* driveway.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless beef, cubed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large celery stalks, diced
3 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped rosemary leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
6 cups beef broth
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup of pot barley
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Heat the oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Add half of the beef and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef.

Add the celery, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, and oregano to the pot. Saute until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juices from the bowl to the pot. Add the broth and tomatoes with their juice. Bring the soup to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the meat is just tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Add the barley. Cover and continue simmering until the barley is tender. Stir in the parsley. Season the soup, to taste, with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.