Beef and Barley Soup with Mushrooms

by Hilary Gauntt on February 12, 2014

The nightly news is full of “catastrophic ice storms” and the polar vortex!  This rich, hearty antidote in a bowl could be just what the doctor ordered.  The recipe is from a cookbook called “A Good Day for Soup” by Jeannette Ferrary and Louise Fiszer.  Barley has been around for over ten thousand years and played in an important role in the kitchens of many different cultures.

I took this soup yesterday to a dear friend who is caught in a  family ” polar vortex”;  both her Mother and her daughter are in dire straits and desperately needing her help. Who said life was fair? This soup is beefy and filling and a new winter favorite of mine.

2 Tbs. vegetable oil

2 pounds beef short ribs, excess fat removed

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in  1 1/2 cups hot water for 30 minutes

8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced

1/4 cup tomato paste

3 cups beef stock or broth

3 cups water

2 cups pearl barley

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill weed, or 1 Tbs. dried dill

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large, heavy non-reactive pot, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Brown the short ribs on all sides.  Remove and set aside.  Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot and cook until lightly browned and soft, about 10 minutes.  Strain the dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid.  Rinse to wash off the sand,if any, and add to the pot with the fresh mushrooms.  Cook for about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, stock or broth, water and the reserved soaking liquid.  Bring to a boil and add the barley and short ribs.  Reduce heat to a simmer, partially covered, and cook until the meat is tender, about 1 hour.

Remove the ribs from the soup, let cool to the touch, and cut the meat from the bones.  Discard the bones and any gristle and return the meat to the soup.  Add the dill and cook for another 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.   Serves 10.

Note:  It took a bit longer simmering  for my ribs to be tender. I used 2 1/2 pounds meat and  I think I would throw in another carrot .  This soup becomes very thick upon standing , so you will want to add additional water or broth whenever you reheat it.  Also it needs lots of salt and pepper.  The dill is lovely in this.

Barley soup

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lisa Carpenter February 17, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Best soup EVER!!! Thank you for nourishing the whole family…we feel your love! xoxo


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