Saturday, November 25, 2017

I opened my front door today to a blast of chilly air. Well, maybe not arctic by any means, but certainly enough to make me say, “Wow, it’s chilly out there.” I had almost forgotten it was October, let alone almost forgetting that I lived in New York. Jerusalem and Miami were more likely options considering the last two weeks! So it’s finally cold(ish). At least it is today. Some people might be excited to pull on their sweaters and boots, but for me, the only exciting thing about the change in weather is a change in my cooking. Who knows what the temperature will be like tomorrow, but I finally feel like a nice, comforting bowl of hot soup would be very welcome right about now.

A hearty bowl of soup is not only comforting, but filling as well, and who doesn’t like a soup that can double as a complete dinner? If you are anything like me, a one-pot, one-bowl dinner is a winner all around. Now, to many, a bowl of soup, no matter how filling, will only seem like an appetizer, or a starter of sorts. Meaning there will be an expectation on the diners’ part that something else to eat is still coming. If you manage expectations right off the bat, things will run much more smoothly. For example, I might say, “Hey guys, dinner tonight is a delicious and filling bowl of vegetable beef and barley soup! Yum!” Then, serve the soup with some nice, crusty garlic bread, and everyone will be happy and satisfied. If something else needs to come out of that kitchen, it’s you! Enjoy!

Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 18 oz. mushrooms, halved and sliced (I used baby bella)
  • 1-2 lbs. cubed stew meat or boneless flanken, plus a marrow bone
  • 1 14-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 tablespoons sherry
  • ½ cup uncooked barley
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a 6-quart pot, heat oil and add onion, garlic, carrots and celery. Allow vegetables to sweat, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes until onions are softened. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms give off their liquid. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes to allow some of the water to evaporate. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and sherry. Cook another minute then add the barley, water and the meat. Cover the pot and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and cook on low flame for 1-2 hours, until the meat is tender. The longer the soup cooks, the better the flavor will be. Taste the soup before serving, and season with salt and pepper.

By Rachel Berger

 Rachel is a recovering real estate attorney, currently making lots of garlic bread. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @thekosherdinnerlady. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

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