How to make badass beef and barley soup

That whole “colder weather” thing has gotten my mind on soups. I’ve had my fill of chicken soup lately, and there’s been a little gastronomic fantasy dancing around in my noggin as of late involving those cheap packs of “stew beef” that you can get at the grocery store. To complete the ultimate party in my mouth, I also picked up a bag of barley. Beef and barley soup is awesome, but barley in general is awesome. It’s like a heartier version of rice, and works great for many things where you want a fun grain.

So anyhow, we start with a giant slab of beef chunks dumped unceremoniously into a bowl.

beef in bowl

Note how nicely the beef still holds the shape of the container that I purchased it in!

Next up, I dumped in a bunch of seasonings, plus water, and slow cooked this thing for like 7 hours.

beef with water and seasonings

Hmm, heck if I can remember what all seasonings I put in there! Definitely sage, some oregano, parsley? Thyme? Whenever I try to think of what to season meat with, I just crank up some Simon and Garfunkle and let the music lead the way. Also, I think one of the best times to slow cook meat is by starting right before bed, and letting it go all night. Then, when you get up in the morning, you get to be all happy cause your apartment or house smells all brothy and delicious. And you can totally pick at the meat for breakfast. Or, you know, mix it in with your cereal if you don’t possess taste buds. Or mix it into someone else’s cereal if you are a bastard. The possibilities are endless!

Mmm, nothing like a little murky substrate to start your day right!

So I saved a bunch of the broth, and likewise stuck half of the beef in the freezer for future delights, and proceeded to make soup with the remainder.

ingredients

So, here’s everything I chopped up or dumped out to go with the beef:

  • carrots
  • potatoes
  • celery
  • onions
  • barley
  • salsa

I totally recommend the salsa bit when making soup, by the way. Gives the broth a nice spicy tomatoey kick!

So I looked around online at other people’s recipes for beef soup, and, based on what was in my fridge, dumped in a bunch of seasonings that seemed like a good idea. I suppose I could have actually, you know, followed a recipe, but what’s the fun in that, right?

soup ingredients

The above includes:

  • apple cider vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • soy sauce (I totally didn’t have worcestershire sauce and decided soy sauce was close enough!)
  • Three pepper lemon hot sauce
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • garlic
  • pepper

Oh, and a bunch of salt as well. So all of this I had slow cook for about 2.5 hours. Came out freaking awesome.

bowl o soup

Like, I just didn’t know it was possible for a soup to be badass. But indeed, this one was. Probably the best soup I’ve ever made. Which in a way makes it a shame that I never keep track of my portions when I throw ingredients in, oops!

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