I have to admit, I’m a little obsessed with making soup right now. Once the weather gets cold, soup is the only thing I want to eat. This Beef and Barley Soup is a hot and hearty soup. It’s warm, filling, and perfect for a cold night. I love to serve it with some crusty bread and a glass of red wine!
For the meat, I used a grass-fed london broil that I cut into cubes. Grass fed beef is high in omega 3 fatty acids and is higher in the “good” unsaturated fats and lower in the “bad” saturated fats. I bought my beef from the farmer’s market, but Whole Foods just started to carry grass-fed beef.
Searing the meat is an important step for this soup. Searing caramelizes the sugars on the meat, which creates a flavorful browned curst. Searing also creates flavor for the soup from the browned bits that form on the bottom of the pan. In restaurants and professional kitchens, these browned bits are often referred to as “love” because they have so much flavor.
To sear the meat properly, make sure it is dry and at room temperature. To do this, take the meat out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior and pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Also, make sure the pot is scorching hot.
The soup starts with a mirepoix, which is a classic French flavor base. I also added tomato paste, which adds a richly concentrated tomato flavor to the soup.
Pearl Barley is the most common form of barley because it is less chewy and cooks quicker than other forms of barley.