January 23, 2017

Beef Barley Soup


As a child, my family went through a period or two of pretty hard times. My parents knew how to stretch a dime, that's for sure. Their own parents had survived the Great Depression and had passed on a heritage of frugality and common sense. Even during the good years we ate salt pork and lima beans, fried hominy, and other Depression-era foods such as beef barley soup.


Beef barley soup is one of those dishes that uses whatever ingredients you have on hand. I used my slow-cooker to make this week's soup so that I could let it simmer all day long without having to babysit it.


I started with a package of beef soup bones from the steer that we raised for the freezer. I browned them in a heavy pot with two tablespoons of melted butter. When the meaty bones were well-browned, I moved them to my Crockpot and added a quart of my homemade beef and tomato stock, a cup of water, and some salt and pepper.


Then I added chopped carrots, celery, onions and garlic to the pot and sautéed them in the butter and fat left from the beef bones, added them to the Crockpot and turned it on Low. I went a little light on the celery, it isn't hubby's favorite ingredient. You can use more or less of each vegetable if you wish.


About an hour before dinner I removed the soup bones, pulled the meat off the bones and returned the meat to the pot. I added some dried parsley and 1/2 cup of pearled barley to the soup and continued cooking for the last hour. This is a perfect dish for pearled barley: the long, slow cooking time makes the barley tender but not mushy.


My mother sometimes added a can of tomatoes, a handful of frozen peas and some whole kernel corn. Ina Garten from the Food Network adds leeks to her beef and barley soup. Add what you like and what you have on hand, it's an excellent way to use up the bits and pieces in your refrigerator.

Beef Barley Soup

2 Tbsp butter
beef soup bones or oxtails, or use 1 pound stew meat
1 quart beef stock (I used beef and tomato stock)
1 cup water (or more if desired)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 cup pearled barley

Brown soup bones in 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy pot. When well-browned, remove bones and add to slow-cooker. Add beef stock, water, salt and pepper to slow-cooker.

Place carrots, onion, celery and garlic in pot with the melted butter. Sauté vegetables until tender and add them to the slow-cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 4-6 hours.

Remove bones and pull off the meat. Return meat to slow-cooker. Add dried parsley and pearled barley. Simmer for another hour.




Related Posts:
Click here for my Soup Recipe Collection.



This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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24 comments:

  1. Today is the coldest day of this week and this will be on the menu for tonight. Can't wait.

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  2. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:16 AM

    Enjoy, Kris!

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  3. The Beef Barley Soup was fabulous - I put in the extra vegetables and the barley soaked up much of the juice and made it more like a stew. It's definitely a keeper. It's nice to find new recipes that meet your expectations or even surpass them. I've had many "disappointments". Thanks a bunch. Can't wait to try some of the other ones.

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  4. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead10:09 PM

    I'm glad you loved it, Kris. Barley does tend to soak up the liquid, especially if you refrigerate the soup and then warm up again. It sure tastes good though!

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  5. Oh yum! This makes me feel all warm on this cold winter night! I will be making soon! Thanks for sharing!!

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  6. Oh yum! This makes me feel all warm on this cold winter night! I will be making soon! Thanks for sharing!!

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  7. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead9:13 PM

    You're welcome, Jennie, I hope you love it!

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  8. I read somewhere that those who eat soup consume fewer calories in a day. My mouth is watering with your pictures and recipe. Thank you for sharing. Yum!

    Jenni

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  9. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead3:14 PM

    You're welcome, Jenni. I like that, people who eat soup consume fewer calories! Thank you for sharing that.

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  10. This looks really yummy. I am looking forward to our weather really cooling off so I can cook soup and really enjoy it. thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  11. Again, you are making me drool! Can I just come live with you? LOL Thanks for sharing on the (mis)Adventures Monday. I look forward to you sharing again!

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  12. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead2:20 PM

    LOL, Mindie. I don't mind lodgers as long as they help weed the garden and scoop poop. ;-)

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  13. Sounds so wonderful, I haven't had beef barley soup in years.

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    Replies
    1. Then it's definitely time for a bowl, Carol!

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  14. This made me smile - it's how my grandma and I use to cook together in good and hard times too. Tasty for this time of year thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Carole @ Garden Up Green

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    Replies
    1. Family memories that involve cooking and food are the best!

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  15. Oh goodness you have made me so hungry! Looks so yummy! Please come over and link and share this wonderful recipe!
    http://ourholidayjourney.blogspot.com/
    Have a good week!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the invitation! I did it!

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  16. This looks delicious! Exactly the kind of soup we like to eat. Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Katy. It's really good!

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  17. Your Beef Barley Soup looks so delicious, Kathi. It brings back memories of soups my late Mom used to make! Love that it's made in the crock pot too. This is the perfect warming, comforting and frugal soup for this time of year. Sharing later today on our Hearth and Soul Facebook page. Thank you so much for being a part of Hearth and Soul.

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    Replies
    1. I love memories that are tied to food! I think that's the definition of comfort food. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  18. Replies
    1. Thank you, Donna, it IS!

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