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~One recipe, two soups: Beef Barley or Beef Noodle~

IMG_9684There are two ways to make beef soup:  the long way and the short way.  Both are great:  

IMG_8917The long way:  When I am using homemade beef stock from my freezer (to make beef barley or beef noodle soup), I cook the beef (a 4-5 pound beef sirloin top butt roast) in the flavorful stock until it is tender and shreddable, 4 hours. Then, I add my vegetables and cook for an additional 45-60 minutes.    

IMG_8909The short way:  When I am making a big pot of homemade beef stock, which I do once or twice a year, I simply shred the cooked meat from it (I always use beef shanks) to make either beef barley or beef noodle soup.  I add my vegetables, and, within 45-60 minutes, my family is enjoying soup.

IMG_9309Because I made beef stock over the Christmas holiday, I'm showing you how to make beef barley and beef noodle soup the short way today. Once the master recipe is made, you can freeze it.  After thawing, all you need to do is add some cooked barley or egg noodles.  After all, the January and February doldrums are the height of the soup season!

The Master Recipe

IMG_95534 cups cooked and shredded beef (1 1/2 pounds)

2  cups peeled and diced carrots

1 1/2  cups diced celery

1 1/2  cups diced yellow or sweet onion

1  generous cup frozen baby peas, unthawed (optional) 

2 quarts homemade beef stock (8 cups) (Note:  You can find my recipe for ~ Mel interrupts Christmas to bring you:  Beef Stock ~ in Categories 15 & 22, or, by clicking on the Related Article link below.)

24-ounces V-8 100% vegetable juice (3 cups) (Note:  If you don't like V-8, or, want a tomato-less version of this soup, substitute 3 extra cups of beef broth.)

1  14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes (optional)

IMG_9577seasonings:  1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, 1/2  teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper, 1/2  teaspoon garlic powder, 2 bay leaves (Note: If you're using my recipe for beef stock (or canned broth), these spices will work nicely.  If you are using your own homemade beef stock, excercise caution and season appropriately, and, to your liking.)

IMG_9323 IMG_9309~ Step 1. Using a fork or your fingers, pull the beef in to large, bite-sized shreds and chunks.  Set aside.

Note:  The beef is going to fall apart more when it reheats in the soup, so, to avoid mushy beef, error on the side of larger pieces.

~ Step 2.  Prep the carrot, celery and onion as directed, placing in an 8-quart stockpot as you work.

IMG_9569 IMG_9564~ Step 3. Add the beef stock, V-8 juice, diced tomatoes and spices (as per my  instructions noted above).  

Bring to a simmer over high heat, adjust heat to a gentle, steady simmer, partially cover the pot, and, continue to cook until carrots are just tender, about 25-30 minutes.

IMG_9591~ Step 4.  Add the optional peas (or don't).  If you do add them, return soup to a gentle simmer and cook for 3 additional minutes.  Add the beef, return to a gentle simmer and cook for 3 more minutes.  Cover, remove soup from heat and set aside.  You will have 4 quarts.

Note:  The Master Recipe can now be portioned and refrigerated or frozen for use at a later date.

IMG_9605I'm placing my soup in 2, 2-quart sized containers.  Each container, when reheated with either 4 cups of cooked barley or 4 cups of cooked egg noodles stirred into it will yield 3 quarts of soup, or, 6 hearty servings of soup.  Just perfect for your next snowstorm dinner!

Here's what you'll need to do that: 

Two Soups:  Beef Barley or Beef Noodle 

IMG_9613For each 2-quarts of soup:

1 cup medium, pearled barley (Note:  1 cup of uncooked barley = 4 cups cooked barley, or 1/2 cup cooked barley per serving)

10  ounces egg noodles (Note: 10 ounces of uncooked egg-noodles = 6 cups of cooked noodles, or, 1/2 cup cooked noodles per serving.)

~ Step 1.  Cook either one in boiling, salted water according to the package directions, or mine:

IMG_9621For the barley (as per me):

In a 4-quart stockpot, sprinkle (don't dump or it will clump)

1 cup barley into 5 cups of boiling water to which 1/2 teaspoon sea salt has been added.  

Briefly stir, adjust heat to a very gentle, steady simmer, cover and cook until tender, 40-45 minutes. Drain into a colander (do not rinse).

IMG_9634For the noodles (as per me):

In a 4-quart stockpot, sprinkle

10 ounces egg noodles into 8 cups boiling water to which 1 teaspoon sea salt has been added.

Briefly stir, adjust heat to a rapid simmer and cook, uncovered until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain into a colander and rinse under cold water to halt the cooking process.  Drain thoroughly.

IMG_9650Remember:  Drain, but don't rinse the barley.  Drain and rinse the noodles under cold water.

Both the barley and the noodles can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Both can be reheated gently in the microwave.  Portion and serve:

IMG_9704One recipe, two soups:  Beef Barley or Beef Noodle:  Recipe yields 3 quarts of either soup, or, 6 hearty servings of either beef barley or beef noodle soup.

Special Equipment List:  fork; cutting board; chef's knife; vegetable peeler; 8-quart stockpot w/lid; 4-quart stockpot w/lid; colander

IMG_4120Cook's Note:  To find out how I make beef barley soup "the long way" (using a 4-5-pound beef roast), you can find my recipe for ~ Sumptuous Beef-Barley, Tomato-Vegetable Soup ~ in Categories 2, 12, 20 & 22!  It's a great way to start the New Year full of healthy vegetables!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2013) 


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