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Simple Beef and Barley Soup

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“While many beef and barley soups add lots of veggies or potatoes, cabbage or lots of different spices, this soup, which came from my Polish grandmother, is very simple, straightforward and full of beef flavor. I add Kulski noodles to it in the bowl. If you give it two days while making it - start it one day and serve it the next, you can strain off a lot of fat. If that isn't a big deal, you can make this all in one day. Add a squirt or two of ketchup to the soup if you wish as well.”
READY IN:
2hrs 30mins
SERVES:
8-10
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. In a large heavy stockpot or dutch oven, heat oil until shimmering. Brown beef on all sides. Brown meat in small groups to prevent crowding, therefore steaming the meat. Remove meat from pot and discard oil when all the meat is browned, keeping the brown bits on the bottom of the pot (for flavor).
  2. Put the browned beef back in the pot and add 8 c water (at least enough to cover the meat). Add bouillon cubes and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the meat falls off the bone, 2-3 hours, depending on your meat and heat.
  3. At this point, you should decide if you are serving the soup that day or the next.
  4. If you are serving the soup that day: pull out the meat and skim off any gunk on the surface. When meat is cool enough to handle, discard the bones and obvious fat. Add meat back to soup. Check for beef flavor of the soup. If not beefy enough, add another bouillon cube. Add the barley, carrots and tomatoes (if you don't like a lot of chunks of tomatoes, cut up some of the tomatoes and puree some) . Add salt to taste and cook until carrots are just tender, about 1/2 hour on a simmer. You can also add a squirt of ketchup if you wish.
  5. If you are preparing the soup for the next day : remove the meat and refrigerate. Strain soup to remove any unwanted bits, cover and refrigerate. The next day, about 1 hour before serving, remove the fat layer from the top of the soup. Begin to heat soup, over medium heat. Remove meat from the bones and add back to soup. Add carrots, tomatoes (if you don't like a lot of chunks of tomatoes, cut up some of the tomatoes and puree some) and barley. Add another bouillon cube if the soup is not beefy enough. Simmer until carrots are tender for 1/2 - 1 hour. Add salt to taste. You can also add a squirt of ketchup if you wish.
  6. Serve soup with noodles. (Kluski noodles are great!).

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