This month has been a little crazy, though. I went to Virginia to visit my friend Amy (more on that in a later post) so I was out of the dinner-making game for almost a week. And with the loss of our dog, everyone in the Arends house has been a little down in the dumps. (Side note here: our other dog, Jasper, has probably been taking it the hardest. Not really eating, not wanting to go outside, sleeping a lot. Lola was basically the doggy equivalent to his wife, so we're spoiling him with extra walks and dinner scraps. Poor guy.)
Anyways, to combat the colder temperatures we're having and our grumpy moods, I thought I'd deviate from the menu planning tonight and cook a big pot of one of our favorite soups. It's a little more time consuming than something I'd usually make during the week, but the results are warm and comforting - just what we need.
(Also, I wanted an excuse to use this video from "Dumb and Dumber" in my post. Delicious soup and Jim Carrey in one day? Sounds good to me.)
Beef and Barley Soup
What you need:
2 tbsp. EVOO
1 lb. London broil, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
salt & pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped (I sometimes throw in a little extra - I love carrots!)
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (I use white mushrooms if I can't find creminis)
2 tbsp. minced garlic (from 4 cloves)
2 tbsp. tomato paste
3/4 cup dry red wine
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
3/4 cup pearl barley
What you do:
1. Heat 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season beef with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.
|I just noticed that renegade piece of meat that was trying to make a break for it. Not so fast, buddy.|
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil, and cook onion, carrot, and mushrooms until golden, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt.
3. Add garlic and tomato paste, and cook, stirring until caramelized, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add wine. Return to heat, bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits using a wooden spoon. Cook until reduced by half (5 minutes or so).
4. Return beef to pot, and add stock and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.
5. Add barley, and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook until beef and barley are tender, 20 to 25 minutes more. Stir in parsley and garnish with horseradish and serve with crusty bread for dipping!
I might be making this for dessert, because, really, how could I not?
The original soup recipe is from Martha Stewart Living - you can find it here.
Do you have any menu planning tips or tricks? How do you keep motivated to cook?