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Beef Barley Soup

November 19, 2011

I recently found this recipe in Martha Stewart magazine. I was looking for a hearty-stick-to-your-bones-winter-day-kinda soup. And this is it! I changed a few things, but most of the recipe still belongs to Martha. Serve this fabulous hot soup with a crusty roll on a blustery cold day.

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb. London broil beef, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 large onion, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
10 oz. fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup dry red wine
4 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
3/4 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Garnish with grated fresh horseradish, if ya like it spicy!


  • Heat 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  • Season beef with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add beef to pot and brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Transfer beef to a plate using a slotted spoon.
  • Reduce heat to medium.
  • Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil.
  • Add onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Add garlic and tomato paste, and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat, and add wine.
  • Return pot to heat, and bring wine to a boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom using a wooden spoon.
  • Cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
  • Return beef to pot, and add stock and water.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
  • Add barley.
  • Cook, covered, for another 30 minutes.
  • Uncover, and cook until beef and barley are tender, 20 minutes more.
  • Stir in parsley.
  • Serve soup hot, garnished with horseradish, if ya like.
  • Leftovers taste great the next day and this soup freezes well!
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