This is a proper, old-fashioned soup, the kind that should be made over two days.
On the first day you make the stock, cooking it slowly for 3 or 4 or 5 hours. Then strain it and chill it to remove all the fat.
Of course it’s easiest to do this if you happen to be in the middle of a cold snap, like we are at the moment. We’ve barely gotten above freezing for days and the nights have been as low as -6C (23F).
I know…. It doesn’t qualify as cold by Minnesota standards but we don’t live in Minnesota for a reason.
Back to the soup…. I just put the stock out in the barn overnight. Luckily, it didn’t freeze.
The next day you make the soup – early, so it has plenty of time to meld all the flavors. Let it cool, then reheat what you need for dinner.
I even managed to find pearl barley, rather than the more common fast-cooking barley that we get here (it cooks in 15 minutes rather than 45 minutes).
The soup freezes well – or you can just eat it every day for lunch until it’s gone – like we did.
The first night we had it for dinner with Popovers. For those of you who have never made popovers: please do not believe all the crap currently around on the internet that implies they are difficult to make.
My recipe is from an old Betty Crocker cook book: Whisk by hand and leave the lumps. No resting, no fussing, no worrying, and they are perfect every time.
Some people just like to make things difficult!
BTW – I use beef base rather than salt – use whatever you like.
Beef & Vegetable Barley Soup
Total time: 5 hours plus chilling time
- 32oz (1000gr) beef short ribs
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 2 ribs celery or a bunch of celery tops, cut into large pieces
- 1 carrot, cut into pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 bouquet garni
- 1 tbs olive oil
- water to cover
- salt to taste or 2 – 3 tsp beef base
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 ribs celery, chopped
- 4 carrots, peeled, chopped
- 3 cups regular or Savoy cabbage, chopped
- 2 1/2 – 3 quarts beef stock, or more… depends on how you like your soup
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 4 tbs tapioca optional – thickens the broth slightly
- the beef from the ribs, cut into small pieces, fat discarded
- Heat oil in a 5 qt Dutch oven.
- Add beef and brown well.
- Add remaining ingredients for stock and enough water to cover it all.
- Cover and simmer for 3 – 4 hours.
- Remove and strain, discarding vegetables.
- Refrigerate meat and stock separately overnight.
- Remove fat from stock and discard.
- Heat stock to a simmer.
- Add the onions, celery, carrots, and cabbage as you chop, keeping soup at a steady simmer.
- Add barley, tapioca if using, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until vegetables are tender and barley is done.
- Add beef, heat through and serve.
More from Barcelona:
I love discovering new things in a favorite old city…. Like this Roman wall.
The Romans left bits of themselves all over Spain, the aqueduct in Segovia, ruins in Emporda, to name two, but I had never seen the remains of the original Roman wall around the city of Barcina.
The bicycles are new.
It’s actually rather extensive and I have no idea how I missed it. Apparently I’ve never been lost in that particular area before.
One of the benefits of being lost is poking one’s head into open doorways.
Sometimes one discovers a lovely courtyard:
With a bench facing the fountain for a wee rest.
But my favorite part of this cute little building was the letter box.
I covet this mailbox.
Apparently it will handle both airmail and
snail turtle mail.