… from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? A great winter comfort food, barley soup could easily take more than 3-hours to cook. That’s okay, I guess, if you have the time—I usually don’t. Using an Instant Pot to make this recipe is so simple and easy and only takes about a third of the time. If you like mushroom barley soup and beef stew, I’m sure you’ll really like this soup to take the chill out of those cold winter days and nights. This soup is even better on day-two.
Contemporary history tells us that soups like these originated in Scotland where it was called Scotch Broth. The main ingredients then, as today, are typically barley, stewing or braising cuts of beef or lamb, root vegetables (such as carrots, rutabaga or sometimes turnips) and dried split peas or red lentils.
Barley is a versatile ancient grain enjoyed in Early America by presidents and countrymen alike. Dried, it lasts for months. Ground, it makes an interesting cake-like bread (see recipe below). Cooked, it triples in size and provides an ample amount of fiber. Barley is also a great source of protein, iron, Vitamin B6 and magnesium needed for a healthy diet. It has a nutty flavor that blends well with winter vegetables like carrots and celery.
Try my Instant Pot recipe for the ages. At the same time, make it an all-barley meal with my Quick Rustic Barley Bread (recipe below). These recipes are not gluten-free. Barley does have some gluten in it.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
1 pound beef stew meat, 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
3/4 cup diced carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 cup barley
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I prefer to use the tomato paste that comes in a tube)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons thyme
2 tablespoons beef base (I prefer Better-than Bouillon)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups beef broth or stock
kosher salt and pepper to taste (to adjust the seasoning)
ChefSecret: If you order prime rib or steak the next time you’re at a restaurant, get the largest portion available. Eat your fill and then ask for a doggie bag. When you’re ready to make the soup—cube up the meat to get started. You can also cube up the meat and freeze it to use later for chili. When you’re ready for a good bowl of beef barley soup or chili, you’ll already have one of the main ingredients ready for the pot.
Quick Rustic Barley Bread
This rustic barley bread is perfect to go with my Beef-Mushroom-Barley Soup. It’s made with 100% barley flour that gives it a complex, nutty and delicious flavor. The texture is like cornbread. It slices easily and makes fabulous next day toast. Get this quick bread in the oven early enough so it can be served with the soup.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 40 minutes
Yield: 12 to 14 slices
3 cups barley flour
1-1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons honey
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “Did you know that Adam and Eve were the first two people to not read the Apple Terms and Conditions?”
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