Monday, January 30, 2017

Beef, Barley & Shiitake Mushroom Soup

A hearty and satisfying winter meal, Beef, Barley and Shiitake Mushroom Soup is a perfect dish for the coldest of days. I love making this recipe when I have leftover Roast Beef or Braised Oxtail, so I can make excellent use of the tender morsels of beef. Simply sauté leeks, carrots and celery until soft, then add garlic, a little tomato paste, fresh shiitake mushrooms, pearl barley, fresh herbs, good beef stock and a lashing of good red wine. An hour simmering on the stove, and you have a richly aromatic and soul satisfying winter soup.

Beef, Barley & Shiitake Mushroom Soup with Red Wine
Serves 6-8

2 tbsp canola oil
3/4 lb leftover roast beef, cut into soup size pieces
2 leeks, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/3 pound shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup red wine
8 cups beef broth
1 cup pearl barley
3 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot, sauté the leeks in 2 tablespoons of oil and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the wine or port and simmer for a minute or so, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. 

Add the leftover meat to the pot, then add the broth, barley, mushrooms, bay leaf, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for an hour, until the beef and barley are both tender. 

Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, and skim off any fat from the surface of the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls, garnish with a sprig of thyme and serve immediately with some hot crusty bread.

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