This is one of the heartiest soups I’ve ever had. It’s perfect as a meal unto itself.
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 pounds beef chuck stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks and patted dry
1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 quarts beef stock or broth (I used canned)
1/2 pound medium pearled barley, rinsed in cool water and drained
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large leek, trimmed, cleaned, and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, cleaned, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes, drained
Heat 1/2 cup olive oil over medium heat in a 10- to 12-inch skillet. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the garlic. Working in batches, add a single layer of beef cubes to the skillet and sear on all sides. Remove each batch with a slotted spoon, and sprinkle with black pepper. Leave the remaining oil in the skillet, and set it aside.
In a 10-quart soup pot, bring the stock or broth to a simmer. Add the browned beef and rinsed barley, cover, and return to a full simmer. Reduce heat and cook gently for about 1 1/2 hours.
Return the skillet to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat and add the onion, leek, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Stir in the oregano and thyme. Cover the skillet and cook over very low heat for about 15 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables to the simmering soup, then add the chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes before serving. Yield: about 22 servings.
Nutrition information per serving (1 1/4 cups, 1/22 of recipe, 335g): 190 cal, 10g fat, 17g protein, 9g complex carbohydrates, 2g dietary fiber, 36mg cholesterol, 274mg sodium, 418mg potassium, 393RE vitamin A, 17mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 36mg calcium, 158mg phosphorus.
it would be a good idea to cook the carrots a bit first because they’re a bit on the raw side otherwise.