I adapted this recipe from an Eastern European Oxtail soup recipe I found at http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/crossculturalsoups/r/oxtailbarley.htm and it came out great. It is perfect for the cold weather we are getting now. Keeping with the idea of eating what is in season, I added yam to the recipe for sweetness, color and vitamins. My wife won't eat pepper (makes me a sad panda) so it is up to your taste to add pepper. Also, make sure your kids don't see the oxtails and only see the finished soup. It will make your life easier when you offer the soup to them.