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Freezer and Crockpot Friendly Beef Barley Soup

A hearty and soul warming soup filled with veggies, tender meat and pearl barley. Crockpot and freezer friendly so make a double batch and save for later

Beef barley girl and the kitchen,com

 

The calendar may be showing the month of March, however the gigantic snow flakes falling in front of my kitchen window beg to differ.  Winter is still here and does not look like it’s going anywhere.  And all I want is comfort food. All this snowy weather made me think back to the wonderful days of childhood.  When we lived for this weather.   When snowy days meant red noses, sniffling up the cold, crisp air as we pummeled through the snow filled hills on our sleds.

Back in the old country where I was born (Moldova, right next to Romania) winters were cold.  And always snowy.  Parents believed that kids should be outside taking in the sunshine and the clean air instead of pining away at home.  So my parents bundled me up in warm coats, snow pants and a multitude of furry hats and took me outside.  When we were babies, we were placed in our prams bundled up in numerous blankets and were taken on walks so we can breath the fresh air and fall into a deep slumber.

When I was older, my parents would take us to the hills and we would sled around on our sleds.  Terrified and exhilarated all at the same time we would run up the hill only to tempt fate again and sled back down the hill.  When we were tired, our parents would pull us back home on the sleds, as we sat back and took in the cold winter air.

When we came home, something warm and hearty was always waiting for us.  Something that warmed us up from the inside out.  A soup or stew that would calm our sniffling noses and quiet our rumbeling tummies.

Last weekend when it snowed, my hubby decided that we should go sledding with our little munchkin.  But seeing as how she is only 14 months, we decided to forgo the sledding and instead he bundled her up, placed her in the stroller and went walking with her until she fell into an afternoon slumber.

I stayed home, because while I do love playing in the snow, I am not a fan of the cold.   Instead I decided they needed something warm and delicious to come back to.  Something munchkin and the hubs can slurp up and calm their sniffling noses to.

I happened to have a pot roast cut of meat in my fridge that I had no plans for.  And so I decided to give beef barley soup a try.  Never having made this soup before, I loosely based it off of a Georgian beef soup my mom used to make.  And it was perfect, truly and honestly, perfect.  There was nothing particularly special about the soup…except that it was delicious.  And wholesome.

It was so good that within two days it was all gone.  Having fallen in love with the hearty flavors of this soup I ended up making it again this week except in the crock pot.  And I froze it.  Yeay! Double win!

So ladies and gentleman today as I type this, I am slurping away at the same beef barley soup that I write of.  And it truly is perfection in a bowl.

For both methods, either conventional or crock pot, I like to first sear up the meat.  You of course do not have to do this with the crock pot, but I find it gives the soup a great depth of flavor.

I like to use a cut of meat called “pot roast”, essentially a chuck cut.  It is a tougher piece of meat with lots of nice pieces of fat and marbling throughout.  Perfect for soups and stews.

I cut up the meat in bite size pieces.  You can do it in larger pieces, but I prefer them to fit on my spoon, plus it’s much easier to feed my munchkin that way.

Cut the meat into slices and then dice it up.  Trim off any fat that you do not want.

Beef Barley00

See all that beautiful marbling in the meat?  That gives it its rich flavor.

Add some olive oil into a heavy bottomed large pot and let it heat up until the olive oil is smoking.

Season the beef with salt and pepper.  Place the beef in the pot to get nice and browned.  Make sure you do not overcrowd the pot as the meat will not caramelize well.  Cook for 10 minutes or until meat is nice and brown.  IF you do accidentally overcrowd your pan and liquid starts pooling up, just pour it off into another container and reserve until you add the stock into the mix.

Toss the meat around with a wooden spoon so that it gets color evenly on all sides.

Beef Barley-001

In the mean time, cut up your veggies.  Dice your onion. First vertically.

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Then horizontally.

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Cut the carrots and celery into half moons.  (Sorry no picture, I was too busy chopping away) Add all the veggies to the meat, along with the garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Toss and allow to sweat for about 10 minutes.  You do not want any color on the veggies.

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Next, add your beef stock.

Beef Barley-001 And your barley.

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Bring the soup up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook partially covered for 1 hour.  Stirring occasionally.

After 1 hour, add the tomatoes and check for seasoning.  Let simmer for 15 minutes more and enjoy.

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Eat right away or freeze for later 🙂  Either way it’s fantastic!

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Beef barley girl and the kitchen,com

Beef Barley Soup


  • Author: Mila Furman

Description

A hearty and soul warming soup filled with veggies, tender meat and pearl barley. Crockpot and freezer friendly so make a double batch and save for later


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 pound Beef chopped into cubes (I use the cut that says pot roast on the label)
  • 1 whole Large Onion (Medium Diced)
  • 4 cloves Garlic (grated on microplaner)
  • 2 whole Carrots (cut into rounds or half moons for the larger ones)
  • 3 Celery hearts (cut into half moons)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt (or To Taste)
  • Ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • 8 cups Beef Stock
  • ½ cups Pearl Barley
  • 2 stems of fresh Thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 whole dry bay leaf (I find this adds such a delicious and hearty flavor to the soup)
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes (14.5 Oz. Size)

Instructions

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add the olive oil.
  3. Brown the beef cubes in the oil until nice and golden brown, that will add a lot flavor to your soup.
  4. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and thyme. Sweat over medium heat covered with a lid for about 7 minutes. You do not want the veggies brown.
  5. Add in all remaining ingredients except the tomatoes.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook partially covered for 1 hour. If the soup gets too thick, thin it with some stock or boiling water.
  7. Add tomatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and enjoy.
  8. CROCKPOT OPTION
  9. Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat.
  10. Add the olive oil.
  11. Brown the beef cubes in the oil until nice and golden brown, that will add a lot flavor to your soup.
  12. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery and thyme. Sweat over medium heat covered with a lid for about 7 minutes. You do not want the veggies brown.
  13. Place meat mixture along with stock, seasoning and bay leaves into crock pot.
  14. Mix until combined and put the lid on.
  15. Cook on high setting for 4-6 hours or on low setting for 8-10 hours, until meat is cooked and vegetables are tender.
  16. About 30 minutes before soup is done add barley and stir it in. Cook until barley is tender.
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: American

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