For lunch yesterday I made a pot of my Winter Barley Soup. Almost wish it had been cold and snowy outside as would befit a soup like this. However, had you been here you might have thought it was April 10th rather than November 10th. This weather we're having in our neck of the woods is just plain crazy. The outside temperature at 9 p.m. last night was 50°. What is going on here? We could/should be having temperatures thirty degrees colder . . . or more . . . by now.
Well, Mother Nature is going to do just as she pleases whether we choose to adjust to her whims or not. I'll still pass this recipe on to you so you can make it sometime in December or January when it truly is a cold, blustery day and you need solid sustenance for your tummy.
I used to make this soup at the restaurant so it's stood the test of time and many palates.
WINTER BARLEY SOUP
5 cups homemade beef broth (You could use 3 cans of canned beef broth instead of the homemade broth if you don't have it. No problem. I won't send the Homemade-Only Police to your house. Promise.)
1/2 cup barley (Add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup if you want your soup more the consistency of a stew.)
5 whole peppercorns
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (About 1 tablespoon dried parsley if you don't have fresh.)
1 cup (or more) chopped cooked beef (Leftover pot roast is perfect.)
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup wine (I prefer a good white, but nuthin' wrong with using red in this recipe.)
Bring broth to a simmer in soup pot. Add barley and peppercorns. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
In large skillet, saute onion and celery in butter for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and carrots and cook about 5 minutes more.
Add the veggie mixture, parsley and cooked meat to the broth after it has been simmering for the half hour. Cover and simmer 30 minutes more.
Open bottle of wine. Drink at least half of it to make sure it has a good flavor. Wouldn't want to chance ruining the soup at this point. ;o)
In a small bowl, stir wine into flour until smooth. Then stir into the soup. Cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes longer until soup thickens. Season with salt to taste. (Canned soup will be salty already so taste to check before adding more.)
This soup is just fine without the beef added because it's so hearty and flavorful the meat is hardly missed. Serve with cheese bread for the protein, and you'll be good to go.
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