Beef Barley Soup



Doctored up Broth:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • scraps from vegetables used in the soup
  • scant teaspoon sugar
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 to 4 dried mushrooms, chopped or 8 ounces fresh
  • 5 whole cloves
  • Parsley sprigs or stems, optional
  • 6 cups of beef broth, canned or boxed
  • 4 cups water, divided (3 plus1)

Beef & Barley Soup:

  • 1 packet of gelatin
  • 6 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 6 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 to 3 cups chopped cabbage
  • small can of crushed tomatoes (optional)
  • 2 to 3 cups of cooked barley (1 cup dry = 3 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 to 2 cups of leftover pot roast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dash of red wine vinegar


Doctored Up Broth:

Add olive oil to Dutch oven and when heated through, add vegetable scraps, sugar and onion. Cover and adjust heat to medium, stirring now and then, until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, stir until lightly browned. Add rest of ingredients and three cups of water. Cover and simmer at least 20 minutes and up to 1 1/2 hours.

Strain broth into a bowl, pressing on vegetables. Use remaining cup of water to pour through the vegetables and allow to drain for several minutes.

If desired, before straining, the dried mushrooms, which will be floating on the top of the broth may be removed, finely chopped and added to the soup. The longer the broth simmers, the less flavor will be left in the mushrooms, so taste one to see if this would be worthwhile.

If you don’t have dried mushrooms, finely chop 8 ounces fresh mushrooms and saute until deeply colored. Add to the broth.


Beef & Barley Soup:

Bring stock to a simmer, add gelatin, carrots and celery. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add cabbage and tomatoes if using. Simmer another five minutes. Add barley and simmer about five to 10 minutes until heated through and vegetables are at the desired stage of tenderness.

Check for consistency. Add a bit more beef broth or water if needed or desired for taste. Adjust seasonings. Add a dash of red wine vinegar if the soup needs any “perking up.”

Note on broth:

  • I generally buy 2 boxes of beef broth, 4 cups each. In this instance, I’d already used about a cup of the broth in the pot roast, Pot Roast Carbonnade. The rest went in the soup, but I held the last cup back until the end, just in case.
  • Beef broths vary widely in strength, flavor and saltiness, so this allows me to hedge my bet, here. I don’t wish to overwhelm the soup with a very strong broth, but I don’t want it to be dull and lacking either.
  • The barley can be a variable, too; depending on how well cooked, it may absorb more broth then expected. It’s nice to have a bit of broth on the side in case you wish to add.


Nutrition: Based on a cup of Beef Barley Soup: Calories 178; Total Fat 7 10 %; Saturated Fat 2 9 %; Monounsaturated Fat 3 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 19 mg 6 %; Sodium 86 mg 4 %; Potassium 249 mg 7 %; Total Carbohydrate 20 7 %; Dietary Fiber 4 16 %; Sugars 4 g; Protein 10 20 %; Vitamin A 77 %; Vitamin C 19 %; Calcium 3 %; Iron 8 %

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