For cold winter days. My mom used to call a soup like this “tummy yum yum” soup, and though I would never dare to say something like this in front of ANYONE, I think it constantly when I’m eating this particular soup. Warming, comforting, and starbursts of flavor.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pound beef chuck steak or roast, cut into chunks,
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 whole carrots, cut into thick rounds
- 2 stalks of celery sliced
- 2-3 yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1-½ teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 6 cups Beef Stock
- 2 cups water or as needed (I didn’t need to add any)
- ½ cups pearl barley
- ½ teaspoons thyme
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 can (14.5 Oz. Size) diced fire-roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen brand)
Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil.
Brown the beef cubes until they are deeply brown — I know you think you can do this quickly, but you can’t — the color of the stock depends on a richly browned meat — then add the onions and garlic. Lower the heat to medium low and cook until the onions are cooked and just starting to caramelize. Stir as needed to keep onions and garlic from burning. Lower heat if necessary; drizzle a little more olive oil if needed to keep food from sticking.
Add ONE carrot, 3-4 chunks of potatoes, 2 tablespoons of celery and everything else except the tomatoes and barley to the pot and stir well. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover pot, and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust heat as necessary to keep soup at a slow simmer. If the soup thickens too much, add a little more water or broth.
Taste to correct seasonings, then add tomatoes, the rest of the potatoes, the barley, carrots and celery and simmer for another hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.