I have mentioned that my husband is a soup lover. He is a huge soup lover actually. If I could make every meal for him in soup form he would be happy. So on Sunday I made a big pot of beef barley soup. Dinner on Sunday and planned leftovers for the next three days!
Let me back up and tell you a little about our weekend. We went for a drive on Saturday through Catskill Park. It was lovely. We chose a road we had never driven before and went through towns we had heard of but never seen. The leaves were gold and many had fallen. There were roadside stands selling pumpkins everywhere. It was charming.
Our end point was Colonie, near Albany airport. Balsamic salmon and steamed broccoli for lunch at 99 Restaurant http://www.yelp.com/biz/99-restaurant-colonie was just the ticket. We followed lunch with our first trip into Trader Joe’s. We enjoyed the different and unique choices. In spite of my protests that a hand basket would be fine, hubby went back for a basket and we filled it with some lovely items. One was a small bag of multi-colored potatoes. I picked them up and immediately said to Barry, “Soup!”.
Taking the scenic route back home again, we found a lovely little place in Margaretville, NY, called the “Inn Between.” http://www.margaretville.net/catskills-attractions/attractions-listing.php?id=203 The staff was very friendly, the atmosphere was warm, and the food was tasty.
Sunday was a stay home and cook day! Our friends, Mark and Wayne, came to the house for lunch. I made tarragon salad with apples and cranberries and a three cheese mac. The food was enjoyed and the conversation wonderful, as always.
While I was preparing lunch, I also started dinner. I used those potatoes and made beef barley soup. I love making soups. And I love making ones that Barry enjoys. I especially love when he dubs it a keeper. This was just such a pot.
Here is how I made it.
Beef Barley Soup
- Oil, S&P
- Tomato paste
- Can of tomatoes
- Beef broth
- Bay leaves
- Frozen corn
Start with the usual suspects: onions, carrots and celery. Saute them in olive oil and just a pinch of salt until softened.
Next add the beef. I went to my local market and was delighted to find a sale on NY strip steaks. Now I know this seems extravagant, but when this pot is making enough for four meals, two nice steaks are a good investment on sale. So, salt and pepper your cubed beef, and add this to the pot. Brown the meat.
When the meat is nicely browned, add about an inch of tomato paste from a tube, a can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes, and beef stock. I use a full box and 2 cans. (This would be a box and a half, but the other half needs to be used up right away.) Throw in 2 bay leaves. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to simmer. Keep it covered and simmer for at least an hour. Slow cooking makes the beef tender.
After an hour, add potatoes, a cup of fresh frozen corn, and about a cup of barley. Bring to a new boil and reduce again to simmer. Now it needs at least 30 – 40 minutes but I give it another hour. At this point you will have a delicious pot of soup!
Make a great pot of soup. It will fill your belly and warm your heart. And remember, this is a great way to make planned leftovers.