It's been just a touch cool and foggy at our part of the Oregon coast the last few days which equates to soup weather in my book. Goodness knows I love making the stuff and it's even easier these days because the resident carnivore happens to be a darned good chopper and dicer. Now that he's retired, he's spending more time with me in the kitchen which is OK as far as I'm concerned. Course that's when he isn't out fishing or cutting down trees or foraging for mushrooms, but more on that later.
Last night's pot of comfort included small cubes of beef cut from an "arm roast" a part of the chuck that holds a small round bone. Perfect for pot roast, it's also ideal for soup as it requires a long slow cooking period in order to become tender. Browned well, and joined by the usual double dose of onion, along with garlic, celery, carrots, and mushrooms, I deglazed the pot with marsala wine before adding stock and barley to the pot to incorporate all that lovely fond off the bottom of the pot.
An hour and a half's simmer made for a hearty, satisfyingly beefy bowl of steaming soup that's going to be even better today for lunch.
Beef and Barley Soup from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from The Rest of the Best, And More Best of Bridge Series Cookbook
2 pounds half inch beef cubes cut from Chuck or Arm Roast
Salt and coarse ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil and more as needed
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 large onions, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound mushrooms, quartered
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2/3 cup dry Marsala wine (or red wine)
2 cans beef consommé (I used Campbells)
1 can low sodium chicken stock (I used Swanson’s)
3 cups water and more as needed
2/3 cup pearl barley
Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Meanwhile season beef cubes generously with salt and coarse ground black pepper. Dust with flour, shaking off excess. Brown in batches on all sides, removing to a bowl when finished. Add carrots, onions, celery and garlic to pot and sauté until softened. Remove to bowl with beef and set aside. Add mushrooms to the pot and cook until they have released their liquid and start to brown. Sprinkle with thyme and add marsala to the pot, scraping the bottom of the pot to release browned bits. When marsala is reduced by half, add remaining ingredients and return beef and vegetables to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until beef is tender and barley is cooked. Add more water as necessary. Makes 8 servings.
A year ago - Stromboli with Italian Sausage
Two year's ago - Salmon & Clam Chowder
Three year's ago - Shaker Lemon Bars