Beef and Barley Soup from the Homestead

I make a lot of soup.  it’s nourishing, easy to make, and often uses up left over ingredients in the fridge or pantry.

This particular week I didn’t have any left over beef, so I bought the cheapest beef things I could find at the marker, which turned out to be a piece of beef back (part of the spine and top of rib bones) and a couple marrow bones.

I started the stock a one evening, because I like to let it chill so I can skim off all the fat.

First I saute a bit of onion, garlic and celery for flavor,  then browned the meat and bones to get a bit of carmelization.  Next a couple quarts of water into the pot, turned the heat to low, and let it simmer away for 2 or 3 hours.  Once the meat is tender and ready to fall off the bones, I strain out the vegetables, wrap the meat up separately, and I put it all in  the fridge.  As it happened I got back to it 2 days later.

For the soup, I used about half the broth I made, and put the other half in the freezer for another time.  Same beginning: saute some onions, garlic and now also celery & carrot pieces, until the onions and celery are tendered.  Add in the meat from the bones that I sliced and picked off.  I even threw the bones back in the pot for a while for more flavor.

The broth was pretty concentrated, so I actually added another 4 or 5 cups of water to it, and poured in in over the veggies and bones.  I added 3/4 cup of barley, seasoned salt and some pepper.  I also grated in a couple cloves of garlic. Lastly a bay leaf goes in.

That’s it.  I let it simmer until the barley was cooked. removed the bay leaf and bones, and there I have it – lunch for the next week.