Friday, September 21, 2012

Beef and Barley Soup

I need a new house. Seriously. I'm not even remotely kidding.

You won't believe what my mom found in the basement this weekend. Are you guessing?

Are you dying in suspense for me to tell you all about the horror in the basement?

A snake. A snake!!!!!!

Yep, I said a snake. Like the slithering kind with the forked tongue and everything. I shudder just thinking about it. I already had basement issues anyway. Remember how when you were a kid and the basement totally freaked you out? Freaked you so much that you had to slam the door and run up the stairs in case something would jump out from behind the dehumidifier and grab you? I might still have issues like that with the basement. I might be slightly afraid of the dark. I'm totally a grown-up though.

Speaking of the dark, who remembers Are You Afraid Of the Dark? on Nickelodeon? That show totally freaked me out! And the show Profiler, remember that show? I would watch that show while babysitting on Friday nights and I would literally have to stay rooted on the couch till the parents got home. Then I would run to my car and slam the door shut and lock the doors. Just a typical Friday night for me.

Oh, you wanted to talk about this soup? Ok, fine. Have it your way. My friend, Emily, posted something about this soup on Facebook and I immediately told her she needed to give me the recipe. So she did. Isn't she so super nice? Yeah, I thought so too!

As with any recipe I get my hands on I made a few tweeks. Mostly, because my rosemary bush is like totally out of control and I need to trim it. But I'm to lazy to do that, instead I snip off huge stems and throw them in things, like this! I also threw in some Parmesan rinds that I've been hoarding since 2002. Kidding! I kid! I keep them in the freezer, that way they're always waiting for me.

I had never cooked barley before, but I was very happy with the over-all outcome and will totally be making this recipe again! Thanks Emily!

Beef and Barley Soup
Serves 6
This recipe was lightly adapted from my friend Emily Green Willis

1 1/2lbs Stew meat, cut into 1" pieces
1 c Pearl barley
4-5 c Chicken stock or water (or beef stock if you have it)
1 15oz can Tomato sauce
5 Carrots, cut into 1 1/2" pieces
1 Onion, medium and diced
1 Celery rib, thinly diced
2 c Green beans, frozen or fresh
2 c Peas, frozen or fresh
2 tsp Canola or vegetable oil
2 Rosemary twigs
1 Bay leaf
2 Parmesan rinds
2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Oregano, dried
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Garlic

1. In a large pan heat up the canola oil. Add the beef and onions. Cook until the beef is no longer pink, about 7 minutes.
2. In the crock pot throw in the carrots, celery, tomato sauce, and all the spices and herbs.
3. Once the meat is done, drain it, and add it to the crock pot. Cook on low for 4-5 hours.
4. Add the barley, green beans, peas, and Parmesan rinds. Cook, on low, for another 2 hours, or until the barley is cooked through. Once done remove the bay leaf, rosemary twigs, and Parmesan rinds.
5. Serve with a hunk of warm multi grain bread.

1. I added the rosemary and Parmesan rinds, but if you don't have them, don't worry about it.
2. Corn can also be added if you like.
3. I think some red wine would also be a nice addition, maybe a cup or so? Let me know if you do!
4. This soup tasted even better the next day!


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