Beef Barley Soup

This week has brought us the first really cold weather of the entire winter, which inspired me to make some comfort food. I decided to make beef barley soup, which I had never done before, and didn’t have a recipe for either… luckily it came out good! For my soup I used:

1 tbsp olive oil or canola oil
4 carrots peeled
4 stalks of celery
2 medium sized red onions
5 cloves of garlic
1 small can of tomato sauce (1 small can of tomato paste would have been good but I didn’t have any)
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1 lb of lean ground beef
2 32fl oz cartons of Kitchen Basics Beef Stock
1 cup of barley rinsed well
1 can of navy beans drained and rinsed
salt
pepper
red pepper flakes

I love my mini cuisinart, it makes life easy for chopping up a lot of veggies quickly. Start off by chopping up the carrots, celery, red onions and garlic (as roughly or as fine as you like them in soup). Heat the olive oil in a pot and add all of the veggies and garlic. Sweat them until they are soft. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Deglaze with some white wine and wait until it’s all evaporated. Then add tomato sauce, stirring to make sure it does not burn. Do this for about a minute, it takes out some of the acidity. Then add the ground beef and brown it. Finally dump the stock, navy beans and barley into the pot, bring up to a boil and then let simmer for about 30 minutes. Make sure you skim the top of the soup a few times, as all of the impurities and a lot of the fat move to the top. This soup produced about 8 servings of soup for me (and by serving I mean a nice big bowl).

A word about the Kitchen Basics stocks. They are amazing, and make cooking so much easier. So many recipes call for stock and this is the answer to not having made your own or having to use a bullion cube or broth which is full of chemicals. They are all natural and very flavorful.

This soup was great, a one pot meal if you drink a glass of milk to go with it!

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