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Rec: Beef Barley Soup

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Joined: Dec 11, 2005


Posted to Thread #639 at 7:06 pm on Jan 30, 2006

I finally got this soup right after my second try. It’s rich and delicious. My notes follow the recipe.

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I love barley soups and there are others in the book (see the Index). Rich with stock and meat and enlivened by a mere whisper of orange juice, this is a dividend soup par excellence, capable of being a meal with the addition of a salad.

8 cups (2 l) Beef Stock (page 165) or in England, imported beef or meat stock; or double recipe Fake Beef Stock (page 168) plus 1 cup (250 ml) water
½ cup (90 g) pearl barley
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried), plus 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
2 sprigs fresh oregano (or 1/8 teaspoon dried), plus 1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (or 1/8 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon (15 g) unsalted butter
1 medium onion, cut into ½-inch (1-cm) dice
2 medium cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and very finely chopped
½ pound (225 g) fresh shiitake or other mushrooms, stems discarded, wiped clean, and caps cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces
½ pound (225 g) parsley root, trimmed, peeled, and cut across into ½-inch (1-cm) slices; if unavailable, ¼ pound (120 g) parsnips
2 cups (450 g) cooked beef shin (reserved from making stock), cut into ½-inch (1-cm) pieces, or 1 pound (450 g) beef stew meat, cut into ¾-inch (1.5-cm) pieces, poached in fake stock and water until tender.
2 sprigs parsley, if using parsnips
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

In a large saucepan, bring the stock, barley, and thyme and oregano sprigs, or ¼ teaspoon dried thyme and 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano, to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until golden. Stir in the garlic and mushrooms. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Stir in ½ cup (125 ml) water and cook until all the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Remove the herb sprigs, if using, from the barley and stir in the cooked mushrooms. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil. Stir in the parsley root or parsnips and cook for 3 minutes. Drain.

Stir the meat and parsley root, or the parsnips and parsley sprigs, into the soup and simmer for 15 minutes. If using dried herbs, add ¼ teaspoon thyme and 1/8 teaspoon oregano after 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. The soup can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Reheat the soup if it has been refrigerated. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chopped fresh herbs, if using, and the salt and pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir in the orange juice. Serve immediately.

Makes 9 cups (2.25 L); 4 Main-Course servings

A Way of Life
Barbara Kafka
Published in 1998 by Artisan

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My notes:

I poached* 1.25 lb. of beef in one can (2 cups) of Swanson’s Beef Broth plus one cup of water for 30 minutes. Used two one-quart containers of Imagine’s Organic Beef Cooking Stock (= 8 cups) from Whole Foods (shake well first) for soup.

fresh organic thyme and ¼ tsp. (twice the amount) of my favorite McCormick Gourmet Collection’s Mediterranean oregano (dry).

fresh squeezed orange juice

parsley root (unless the “carrots” are really fat, you’ll have to buy 3 bunches instead of two)

5 oz. package of shiitake sliced mushrooms and 6 oz. button mushrooms cut to 1” pieces (= 3 oz. over recipe – I like mushrooms and it worked well last time).

carefully add salt at end to taste

* covered and brought to boil and gently simmered.

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