Mushroom Barley Beef Soup

Back in February I wrote about braising beef ribs.  It’s one of my favorite “go to” dishes because it is easy, takes so little time in the kitchen and, most importantly, it has become one of my family’s most requested dishes. Great comfort food all the way.

I made it this past weekend for my mom. She and I just returned from a very lovely time in Hawaii, and she stopped over in Arizona for a few days before heading back to her home in Canada. Of course, foodies that we are, all meals were carefully planned because she just had to have several Mexican food fixes (no “real” Mexican restaurants where she resides), a night out for linguine and clams (her all time favorite Italian dish) … and, I am honored to say, a couple of Plynn’s signature meals, one of them being Beef Ribs. And it was dang good, I must admit – not a sliver of meat left on any bones when we were done. “All goggy!” as my son Mitchel would say when he was a toddler (which means, all gone).

Anyway – so, you know me, I saved the braising liquid from the ribs because I use it as a base to make soup … which is what I did the following night.  Normally, I make a full-on vegetable soup with carrots, celery, peas, green beans, corn … whatever I have available, fresh or frozen. But since I just returned from an extended time away, my fridge doesn’t have its usual selection of produce.  However I did have a container of white mushrooms, which for some reason I bought on a whim when I was out getting staples upon my return home (i.e. cream for coffee, oranges and bananas for breakfast, bread, etc.); and I did have a lonely ¼ cup of  barley left in the cupboard, so I knew I had as specialty soup about to come to fruition.

See!  This is why you don’t throw stuff out. If I had said, “What am I going to do with a ¼ cup of barley?” while making my last batch of soup and tossed it in the garbage, I wouldn’t have the choice to create something interesting now … I’m just saying …

Just think: 2 great meals out of one simple cooking process. You’ve got to try this “two part” cooking experience: ribs one night, soup the next! So, here’s how easy this can come together …

Note that the braising liquid has already been infused with a ½ can of beef broth, a cup of chopped onions, about 6 cloves of thinly sliced garlic, Hawaiian seasoned salt a touch of soy sauce from cooking the ribs. And, because the liquid was refrigerated overnight, the fat rendered from the meat rose and hardened on the top, so it needs to be removed and discarded … unless you have a good use for beef fat. If you do, please share it with me.

Mushroom Barley Beef Soup

Braising liquid (fat layer removed, but keep all the good bits of onion and garlic that permeate the liquid)

½ can of beef broth (balance from can added to the ribs)

2 cups water

1 cup finely diced celery

1 cup finely diced carrots

¼ cup pearl or pot barley

6-8 medium sized mushrooms, thinly sliced

Salt & Pepper, to taste

Fresh parsley (or other herbs), chopped for garnish

In a large cooking pot, heat braising liquid, broth and water to boil. Add celery, carrots and barley. Return to boil, then lower to medium/medium-low heat, partially cover and cook approximately ½ hour or until barley is tender.  Add mushrooms and cook on medium-low heat for 15 minutes.  Add seasonings to taste.

Serve with herb garnish

The stars in this soup are the barley and mushrooms. The carrots and celery add a bit of texture, but mostly deepen the flavor of the broth.

My husband Michael enjoyed this soup so much he had a second bowl. So guess what?  “All goggy!”

Eat well. Be happy.

Author: Plynn Gutman

Plynn Gutman is a certified coach with a refreshing and holistic approach to achieving an Integrated Life. Specialized retreats, workshops and classes are all a part of Plynn’s wide array of resources that she offers along with useful life lessons, tips and advice through her blog. A writer at heart, with several titles available, Plynn's variety of work appeals to everyone.

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