I have just today eaten some of the leftovers of this soup, which I made last night and wanted to tell you about ASAP. If you like beefy soups, try this one. It's a speedier version of my very favorite soup, which I have yet to post for you. You'll just have to stay in suspense a while longer. Mwa ha ha ha ha. This one also comes from the October 2010 Everyday Food and I have had the recipe bookmarked to be made since I first flipped through those pages.
First, you roast beef, shallots, and mushrooms in the oven to concentrate and deepen the flavors of these three ingredients. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA! You then add them, along with barley to liquid, and after a brief cooking in a pot, you come out with this magical bowl of comfort food.
This recipe is easy and probably somewhat adaptable. It's on the lesser economical side (for me, anyway), but is still fairly inexpensive in the grand scheme. Only you know your own food budget. I'll post the recipe, along with a link to its corner of the Martha Stewart website, and post what changes I made to the original recipe in my notes section.
Roasted Beef, Mushroom, and Barley Soup
from October 2010 Everyday Food
1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound cremini or button mushrooms, stems trimmed and caps halved
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, toss together steak, mushrooms, shallots, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until beef and mushrooms are browned, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a medium pot and add broth and barley. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high, then reduce heat and simmer until barley is soft, about 12 minutes. To serve, season to taste with salt and pepper and top with parsley, if desired.
- Because I do try to balance economy and quality, I opted for beef stew meat instead. It was $2 or $3 less per pound than sirloin. It had a little more prep because it's a fattier, somewhat tougher cut of meat. If you like less work, go with the sirloin.
- I used beef broth in place of chicken. I do not regret that decision. In fact, I think it may have made it better.
- To save time, I used the sliced cremini mushrooms.
- Serve this with some crusty bread, cheese toast, or a side salad. It's so good!