Beef mushroom barley soup

Bursting with woody mushrooms, this beef and barley soup makes a super supper.

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time200 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyEasy
2 tbsp, plus 1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 (565–680g) beef shin on the bone, trimmed of excess fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 carrot, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1.4L water
1/2 tsp dried thyme
60g pearl barley, rinsed
200g chopped tinned tomato
15g unsalted butter
350g medium-sized button mushrooms, brushed, trimmed and quartered
3 tbsp finely-chopped flat-leaf parsley
1) Heat a large saucepan or casserole over a medium-high heat and add two tablespoons of the oil. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Sear the meat on all sides until well browned; this will take about 15 minutes. Set the meat aside and wipe the pan out with a kitchen towel.

2) Lower the heat to medium, add the oil to the pan. Add the carrot, onion and celery to the pan and saute until tender, about ten minutes.

3) Return the meat to the pan with the water. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is just tender.

4) Add the thyme, barley and tomato, and continue to simmer the soup, covered, for 45 minutes.

5) Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan, heat the butter over a medium-high heat, add the mushrooms and saute until golden, about ten minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste, and add them to the soup, and simmer for 15 minutes more.

6) Remove the meat from the soup, cut the meat from the bone and dice. Skim any fat from the surface of the soup with a ladle or large spoon. Return the meat to the soup with the parsley. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in warm bowls.

Cook's Note: If making the soup in advance, adjust the consistency of the soup when re-heating with water, since the barley has a tendency to absorb the broth.

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