Saturday, November 16, 2013

What's For Dinner? Beef, Vegetable, and Barley Soup

It was really cold this week, at least for North Carolina, and my urge for soup was really strong. It's difficult at times to get a sufficient amount of protein into a meal if soup is the main course, and this recipe is no different. You have a few options - adjust your eating throughout the day so that this meal can handle having only about half the normal amount of protein in a meal, or add extra meat to the soup. If you do that, remember the nutritional information will change in all respects, not just in the protein count.

Don't skip the fresh herbs, it really makes the flavor.

This recipe makes a ton of soup when you're eating it in just 1 cup servings, but it freezes well. I use 2-cup storage bowls and pop them in the freezer, that way I'll either have a meal for both of us, or two lunch servings for myself. 

Beef, Vegetable, and Barley Soup
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1.5 to 2 cups)
  • 4 or 5 medium carrots, peeled and diced (2 cups)
  • 2 stalks celery - outermost fibers peeled off, then diced (1 cup)
  • 2-3 small red potatoes, diced (1 to 1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup petite peas, frozen
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 12 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or homemade)
  • 12 oz beef tenderloin cut into small cubes
  • 1.5 tbsp minced fresh thyme
  • 1.5 tbsp minced fresh oregano
  • kosher salt
  • pepper
Melt butter in large pot. Add all vegetables, along with a healthy teaspoon of kosher salt and a few twists of freshly cracked black pepper. Saute for about 10-15 minutes until they soften and onions begin to turn translucent. Add broth, bring to a boil. Reduce to a firm simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add barley, and herbs, stirring well. Cook for 30-35 minutes until barley is softened. It will absorb quite a bit of liquid, so what may have looked like a very brothy soup will be thicker at this point. Add  the beef, simmer another 10 minutes for beef to cook through.

Nutritional information: Makes approximately 12 1-cup servings. 204 calories, 6.2g fat, 25.8g carbohydrates, 5.5g dietary fiber, 5.5g sugars, 12.6g protein