If you are making out your grocery lists go ahead and add this yummy soup to your menu this week! Hurry before the steamy temps arrive this weekend...40 degrees! Hey, in Iowa we wear shorts and tees to celebrate and in Cali, well they put on parkas and Uggs :) This soup started out as mushroom and barley soup until I brilliantly added leftover grilled steak to it and decided it should always have beef in it! This soup ages well too, made it Friday and finished it off today! Delish!I have had the best luck with HyVee's angus beef stew meat. I use the entire package but if you want less meat then use your leftovers for fajitas or something else. Start with meat in a skillet on medium heat, brown meat through. I season it with Worcestershire sauce, minced garlic (about 1 tsp), salt, and pepper.
Next, in a soup pot, saute 1/2 yellow onion, chopped, in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Saute for about 3-5 minutes until translucent, then add in 1 teaspoon thyme, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, and 1/2 cup barley. Stir and saute another 3-5 minutes.
Then add in your 2-14.5 ounce cans of beef broth followed by 1 can of water. I love mushrooms so I add in 1-8 ounce carton of sliced mushrooms, diced down even smaller. It looks like that is all the soup is but if I blind folded you I bet you wouldn't even guess there were mushrooms in it! They melt down into yummy perfection. If you don't like that many, cut that anount in half or cut them out if you wish.
One your stew meat is cooked through, I give it a rough chop also into smaller pieces for 2 reasons. 1.) I don't like huge hunks of meat to chew 2.) It makes the meat more tender after you are done cooking the soup. I add the chopped meat and juices into the soup pot. You can drain off excess liquids if you would like.
Next stir in 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. I buy the cans of tomato paste and hate using just a small amount then wasting the rest, so I put it in a small baggie, divide it with my hand into 3 portions and freeze. Voila! Tomato paste on the fly!
Finish it off with adding 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of balsalmic vinegar, and salt & pepper to taste. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and allow soup to simmer for 30-40 minutes until barley is tender. Enjoy!
Ingredients: 1 tbsp olive oil 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 1/2 cup dry barley 3 teaspoons minced garlic, divided 1 tsp thyme 8 oz sliced mushrooms 2-14.5 oz cans beef broth 1 can water ( use broth can) 1 Tbsp tomato paste 1 Tbsp balsalmic vinegar 1 bay leaf 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce to season beef Salt & pepper