I actually made this prior to the snowstorm, based on day 5 of my husband’s voice slowly disappearing. I thought he deserved a soup, and since I’ve been feeling uninspired in the kitchen lately, I used this as an excuse to try a new recipe, which I took straight from Meagan. This is like a grown up version of the hamburger soup my Mom always made when we were kids, and everyone loved it. Apparently the original recipe calls for 2 1/2 lbs of beef short ribs, but Meagan used beef stew meat, so I went for a combo of the two; 1/2 lb of short ribs for flavour and the rest stewing meat. I think if I have time in the future to make this the day before I want to eat it, I’ll try all short ribs, then cool it, so I can skim the fat off, but just having a couple in there added a ton of flavour without all the fat. This was an easy recipe that the whole family loved, plus I froze half of it for an easy dinner later; I can see this becoming a regular in my soup rotation.
2 1/2 lbs cubed stewing beef or short ribs
1 tsp each, salt and fresh ground pepper
1 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large leeks, sliced, white and light green parts only
5 celery sticks, chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 L beef broth
1 L water
1 cup red wine (I used a bordeaux)
1, 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, leaves only (I aimed for a well rounded Tbsp)
3/4 cup pot barley
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1. In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the meat, then add to pot, stirring until browned on all sides.
2. Add garlic, leeks, carrots and onion, lowering heat to medium low, stirring once or twice, then covering. Let veggies ‘sweat’ (cook without browning) for about 10 minutes, without lifting the lid. Then take the lid off and turn up the heat to medium or so and let the veggies get slightly browned.
3. Add broth, water, wine, tomatoes, and thyme and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer, mostly covered, for about an hour. Add barley and simmer, covered, for another 45 minutes, or until barley is tender. Stir in balsamic and parsley.
4. At this point it is ready to serve, or if using all short ribs, let cool to room temperature, then cool for several hours, or overnight, in the fridge, or until fat solidifies on top. Scrape fat off the top, then reheat and serve.
Serves 6 – 8 adults