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Beef barley soup is hearty and healthy

My Poppy loved beef barley soup.

With a slice of fresh crusty bread or crackers, he loved a hearty bowl of soup with the vegetables, chunks of beef and the pearl barley.

Mom-Mom made Pop beef barley soup quite often especially during the cold months.

In honor of what would have been Pop’s 97th birthday today, I have made my own take on Mom-Mom’s bowl of beef barley soup.

You can even add your favorite vegetables to this soup and make it your family’s own recipe.

Beef Barley Soup

1 pound of boneless short ribs (1-inch dice)

8 cups of homemade or a good beef stock

4 cups of water

¾ of a cup of pearl barley, uncooked

½ of a nice size bunch of fresh kale (about 4 cups, chopped)

1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes

2 carrots, medium dice

2 stalks of celery, medium dice

1 leek, washed and dried; medium dice

1 onion, medium dice

2 garlic cloves, minced

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 large sprig of fresh rosemary

1 fresh bay leaf

½ ounces of dried porcini mushrooms (softened, drained and roughly chopped)

A few dashes of red wine vinegar

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Once your pot is nice and hot, gently pour in your oil. Season the beef with salt and sear it on all sides until brown all around. Remove the beef from the pot and add in your vegetables except the canned tomatoes and chopped kale.

Turn your heat to medium low and cook the vegetables until softened. Add in your mushrooms, stock, water, and canned tomatoes. Tie your herbs together with a piece of kitchen twine, making a bouquet garni.

Place your herb bundle into the soup. Season with salt and black pepper and bring the soup up to a simmer. Reduce he heat to low and cook your soup for one hour with the lid slightly opened.

After the hour, add in your barley and cook for 30 to 45 minutes until the barley is tender.

Once the barley is cooked, take your soup off of the heat and add in your kale. Cover the soup for 15 minutes to steam the kale through.

After the 15 minutes, remove your herb bundle and add in the red wine vinegar. Taste for seasoning. Serve your beef barley soup with your favorite crusty bread, warm soft dinner rolls or crackers.

Sarah Schweitzer is dual-certified in Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry from the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. She is a former line cook for Chef Robert Irvine at “Fresh Kitchen by Robert Irvine” which was located at the Downtown Allentown Market. Sarah is currently working as a Sous-Chef at Ateira’s on First and has her own blog simplysarah.online. She can be reached at sarah.schweitzer18@gmail.com.

Beef barley soup