Beef, Barley, and Bean Soup
This soup is the all-time favorite of my youngest daughter, Eve.
It's a rich, thick, filling dish that can make an entire meal or can be served in smaller quantities as a first course.
Using a crockpot overnight, this soup makes a wonderful first course for a Shabbat lunch. The key to combining all the
flavors is to brown each of the ingredients, including the spices, in turn, in the oil. I try to use many varieties of
dried beans to add a bit of variation in color, texture, and flavor.
Yield: 12 servings
- 1.5-2 cups assorted beans (navy, black-eyed peas, lima, kidney, pink, or some of the "heirloom" dried beans), rinsed and soaked overnight, then rinsed again
- 3 T. olive oil
- 2 pounds beef stew or beef short ribs
- 1 very large onion, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, sliced thinly
- 4 carrots, sliced thinly
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T. salt
- 3/4 cup pearl barley
- 1 T. paprika
- 1 T. parsley flakes or 3 T. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp. dill weed or 2 sprigs fresh dill
- black pepper
- other vegetables (not sweet) if desired, including tomatoes or tomato paste
Heat oil in large soup pot, sauté onion and beef until brown, add vegetables and continue to
sauté for 2 minutes, add remaining spices and barley. Stir and sauté another 2 minutes.
Add remaining vegetables (optional), soaked beans, and tomato paste (optional) and enough water to bring volume to about 6 quarts.
Bring to a slow simmer and simmer for 12 hours. Remove fat. This can be eaten after 4 or 5 hours, but it improves
with longer cooking.
If you make the soup in advance, refrigerate for several hours and remove the congealed fat before reheating to serve.