This is a delicious beef barley soup because it uses oxtails or beef shanks. The marrow from the bones greatly enriches the soup and makes it tasty and flavorful – perfect for a cold day. It’s adapted from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That by Ina Garten.
The ingredients for making this soup are usually inexpensive too, so you can make a warming winter meal for very little. So when the weather outside is frightful, just stay in and make this.
Rich Beef Barley Soup
- 1 tablespoon good olive oil
- 2 - 3 lbs beef oxtails or shanks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped leeks (2 leeks)
- 2 cups diced carrots (4 carrots)
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup diced celery (2 stalks)
- 3 - 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- 3 bay leaves
- 10 cups beef broth
- 1 cup pearl barley
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the oxtails or beef shanks, and cook on medium high heat for about 10 minutes - turning so that the meat is browned on all sides. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Add the leeks, carrots, onion, and celery to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are wilted and just starting to brown.
- Add the beef, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, broth, salt, and pepper to the pot.
- Raise the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
- While the soup is simmering, bring 4 cups of water to a boil, and the barley, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Drain the barley and set aside.
- After simmering for an hour, remove the bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and beef from the soup. Allow the beef to cool, remove the beef from the bones, cut into small pieces (being sure to remove and fat or tough pieces), and return the beef to the soup along with the barley.
- Simmer (covered) for another 20 minutes or until the barley is tender. Taste for seasonings, adding additional salt or pepper if necessary.
- Serve hot.