This was pretty good! My only gripe is that the veggies weren’t soft enough. I hate celery, but can eat it cooked. This celery was still a little crunchy. I don’t know why I don’t cook with barley more. It’s really good! I like the nutty, chewy texture. I used a bag of Morningstar Farms Steak Strips in place of the meat. My 10 year old didn’t love this, but my 7 year old did.
Quick Beef & Barley Soup
(Eating Well: Quick + Clean)
time needed: 40 min.
8 ounces sirloin steak, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (I used 1 bag of Morningstar Farms Steak Strips)
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large stalk celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (I used 1/2 tsp dried)
¾ cup quick-cooking barley
4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth (I used veggie broth)
1 cup water
¼ teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
1. Sprinkle steak with ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the steak and cook, stirring often, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, onion and celery to the pot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add tomato paste and thyme and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated with the tomato paste and are beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add barley, broth, water, salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer; cook until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juice to the pot and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vinegar to taste.