Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr 5 mins
Beef barley soup, while not traditionally Italian, is such a satisfying meal that all soup lovers should have it in their repertoire. The soup goes together in minutes and simmers unattended until ready to serve, ideal for the after-work question of "what's for dinner?"
- 1 lb beef chuck, cut in very small cubes
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 1⁄2 cups pearl barley
- 8 cups homemade beef stock
- salt and pepper
- Warm the olive oil in the soup pot over medium high heat.
- Add finely cubed beef and brown well.
- Add carrots, onion, and celery, turn heat down to medium low and cook about 5 minutes, stirring to coat all the vegetables with oil.
- Add tomatoes with their juice, barley, bay leaves, beef stock, and salt and a couple of grinds of pepper. The amount of salt will depend on your beef broth, so start with a small amount (1 tsp.) and add later as you taste.
- Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered about one hour or until barley is soft and beef is tender. If the soup is too thick at this point stir in up to one cup of hot water or stock to achieve the consistency you want.
- If made in advance the soup will continue to thicken as it stands and you will need to thin it with water or additional stock.
- Pick out bay leaves before serving (unless like my family, whoever get's the bay leaf in their dinner, gets to wash the dishes).