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Hearty Beef Barley Soup

Hearty Beef Barley Soup: A Warm and Nourishing Comfort Classic

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Beef Barley Soup is the epitome of comfort food – rich, hearty, and full of flavor. This classic soup is perfect for warming you up on chilly days and providing a nourishing meal for the whole family. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through how to make this comforting Beef Barley Soup from scratch, along with tips, variations, and even keto-friendly and low-carb versions for those looking to enjoy this dish while keeping it healthier.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2–3 lbs chuck roast, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced thin
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 cup medium barley
  • 1 can corn, drained (14.5 ounces)

Instructions:

  1. Brown the Beef: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the pieces of chuck roast in batches and brown them on all sides. Remove the browned beef from the pot and set aside.
  2. Sauté the Vegetables: In the same pot, add the sliced carrots, celery, onion, and crushed garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened and fragrant.
  3. Add the Herbs and Spices: Stir in the dried parsley, dried oregano, and ground thyme, and cook for another minute to release their flavors.
  4. Combine the Ingredients: Return the browned beef to the pot. Add the low-sodium beef broth, diced tomatoes (with their juices), bay leaf, and medium barley. Stir to combine.
  5. Simmer the Soup: Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the beef is tender and the barley is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the Corn: Stir in the drained corn and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until heated through.
  7. Season to Taste: Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Remove the bay leaf before serving.
  8. Serve and Enjoy: Ladle the Beef Barley Soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Slow Cooker Method: You can also make this soup in a slow cooker. Brown the beef and sauté the vegetables as directed, then transfer everything to a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the beef is tender and the barley is cooked through.
  • Vegetarian Option: Omit the beef and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth for a vegetarian version of this soup. You can also add extra vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini for added flavor and texture.
  • Extra Flavor: For an extra boost of flavor, you can add a splash of Worcestershire sauce or a tablespoon of soy sauce to the soup.

Keto Versions and Low-Carb Options:

  • Replace Barley: Substitute barley with cauliflower rice or chopped cauliflower florets for a low-carb or keto-friendly option.
  • Leaner Meat: Use lean cuts of beef such as sirloin or round steak to reduce the fat content for those following a keto or low-carb diet.
  • Creamy Option: Add a splash of heavy cream or coconut cream for a creamy texture without the carbs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Can I freeze Beef Barley Soup? Yes, Beef Barley Soup freezes well. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  2. Can I use quick-cooking barley? Yes, you can use quick-cooking barley if you’re short on time. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly, as quick-cooking barley cooks faster than medium barley.
  3. What other vegetables can I add? Feel free to customize this soup with your favorite vegetables. Potatoes, peas, green beans, or spinach would all be great additions.

Beef Barley Soup is a comforting and nourishing dish that’s perfect for warming you up on cold days or providing a hearty meal any time of year. With its tender beef, wholesome barley, and flavorful broth, it’s sure to become a family favorite. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or meal prepping for the week ahead, this hearty soup is a delicious and satisfying option. So gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a bowl of homemade Beef Barley Soup that’s sure to warm both body and soul!

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