This Beef & Barley Soup was one I hesitated to try for quite a while. But let me say, since making it the first time in January, I have made it several times– It’s THAT good. It’s definitely a thicker soup, which is great if you’re trying to pass it off as a “meal” to your husband. We serve it with a piece of nice crusty bread and sometimes a salad. YUM! The only step you take in advance is to brown the onions with the tomato paste in a skillet and then deglaze the pan before everything goes in the slow-cooker– so easy!
Beef & Barley Soup(Slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen: Slow Cooker Revolution)
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 (28 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
3 cups of beef broth
1 cup chicken broth (low-sodium)
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 lb. mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (optional)
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup pearl barley
1.5 lbs. boneless shoulder (or blade) steak
1 cup of frozen peas
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, tomato paste, and thyme and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned (about 8 minutes.) Stir in wine, scraping up any browned bits; transfer to slow cooker.
Stir tomatoes, beef and chicken broths, carrots, mushrooms, soy sauce and barley into slow cooker. Season beef with salt and pepper and nestle into the bottom of the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove beef and shred, and then add back in to soup, along with frozen peas (with slow cooker still on low.) Let peas and meat heat thoroughly for about 10 minutes and then skim any fat off the top if necessary. Stir in parsley, salt and pepper to taste (if needed) and serve.