Mushroom Beef Barley Soup
2 - LBS. Chuck beef or beef short ribs browned, cut into bite size pieces for short ribs, salted and ground pepper while browning
4 Tablespoons vegetable, canola, EVOO, or grape seed oil
1 - extra large chopped onion Spanish or sweet, chopped
½ - cup finely chopped carrots, diced in food processor
4 - large celery stalks finely chopped
4- cloves garlic minced
1- lb white mushrooms chopped
1 - bag dried mushrooms soaked in water/rinsed and soaked until soft diced very fine (this is the European version)
3 - 32oz beef stock, low sodium, all natural or organic
8 – cups additional water
2-3 small red or white potatoes chopped (Optional)
2 - boxes beef barley soup mix with seasoning (in the Jewish ethnic isle)
2 – 2 1/2 cups - boxed medium barley (not quick cooking) rinsed in a strainer
2 - bay leaves
kosher salt if needed. After you cook the soup for awhile, then check for flavor, there will be salt in the beef stock and boxed barley that has seasoning 1 teaspoon pepper or more if preferred with taste
1 Extra large stockpot for soup
1) Brown chuck beef or short ribs in oil until well browned on all sides, lay to rest to cut into bite size pieces.
2) In the rendered fat from the oil from beef, (add additional oil if needed) add chopped and diced vegetables except the garlic, which you will add last when vegetables are soft, brown for an addition few minutes.
3) While the vegetables are getting soft, I cut the beef into bit size pieces, taking off all the fat. Dispose of the bones and do the same for the short ribs. If you like a schmaltzy soup, keep some fat on.
4) Add beef stock and water
5) Add both soaked and rinsed barley, with seasoning from the box’s
6) Add potatoes (optional)
7) Add bay leaves and pepper to taste
8) After soup comes to a raped boil, set on medium low, check for more salt and pepper if needed. You can use beef bullion if desired
10) Cook on mid-low for an additional 2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so, or until barley is soft and soup has the perfect flavors.
Here’s the real European flair: brown a small onion and put on top of cooked soup!!