Tasty Tuesday - Warming Beef & Barley Soup

 It's winter. The first day of June came and went and then along came the cold, wet, blustery weather. Don't you just love it? I know I don't. Winter does not agree with me at all. It makes my fingers and toes cold, I can't go outside to enjoy the garden. You feel secluded as your are stuck in the house. I guess the bears have it all worked out - hibernate!

 One thing winter has going for it is the comfort food we enjoy during this time. This Beef & Barley soup is one of those. Thick, hearty and delicious served with some freshly made bread slathered in butter - pure winter heaven.

This soup is very nutritious as it is packed full of vegetables, low GI - pearl barley and meat. Perfect to keep your vitamins levels up during the cold season. It is quite cheap to make as you can use tougher cuts of meat such as gravy beef or chuck steak in it as it simmered over a long period of time breaking down these tough pieces of meat into tender melt-in-you-mouth morsels.

It's a one pot meal that can be made the day before on the stove, popped in your slow cooker or if your lucky enough a pressure cooker like this one below. I have been lucky enough to have being asked to review the new Breville Fast Slow Cooker - it is a slow cooker, rice cooker and pressure cooker in one. Brilliant product and I will write more on this in a future post but I tried it out for the first time to cook this soup and it is now my NEW best friend in kitchen equipment.

  I do have to confess one thing though.... since I was whingeing about winter earlier in the post. Since I am pregnant I have to say I have not felt the cold so bad this year. I am probably what you could say a "normal" person now as normally I am what you call a "frog". This little in-built heater that I am making inside of  me has kept me quite nice and toasty over the cooler months and I am looking forward to the deep winter. I doubt I will be as cold as I normally am. Maybe I should be pregnant every winter.... ergh no thanks!

 This soup freezes really well so I do recommend making a big batch if you have the time and freezer space. We are currently living a lot out of our freezer leftovers as I have just being feeling too tired  to cook. Weird because cooking dinner was one of my favourite past times - chilling and pottering around in the afternoon, whipping up something nice for dinner. Now I couldn't care less what is on the menu - generally avacado on toast for me. My poor husband really is very patient with me and hopefully I will one day cook him a weeks worth of decent meals again....... maybe when the baby turns 18! Lol.

Beef & Barley Soup

by The Whimsical Wife
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 Hr 45 Min
Serves: 6
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • 500g Gravy Beef (or Chuck Steak), cubed
  • 2 x Cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 2 x Brown Onions, finely diced,
  • 3/4 cup Pearl Barley
  • 3 Cup Beef Stock
  • 1.5 L Water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Spring Fresh Rosemary
  • 2 Medium Potatoes, cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 Medium Carrots, cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 Medium Zucchini, cut into 1cm dice
  • 100g Button Mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • Finely sliced Parsley to garnish.
In a large pot, add the oil and brown the beef in batches. Remove from pan.
Add onions and garlic and saute until onion has softened.
Add the beef, barley, stock, water, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme. Cover with the lid and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1 hour or until the beef and barley are tender. Skim the fat occasionally from the top of the soup.
Add the diced vegetables and simmer covered for a further 25 min or until vegetables are soft. Remove the herbs and serve.
Garnish with parsley and serve with fresh bread.
*If you want to do this in your slow cooker - simply brown your meat, onions and garlic - add to your slow cooker along with remaining ingredients. Set to low for 6 hours.
*If you do this in your pressure cooker simple cook for 30 min on high
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Be sure not to forget the bread.......

What's your favourite winter comfort food?

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