After a frantic few weeks of holiday cooking, you’re probably ready to put together some meals that are nearly heat and eat. Beef Barley Soup can do that for you, putting roast beef leftovers to good use, and adding barley for more protein and staying power. We usually plan for a chuck or arm roast that will allow us to have a pound or so of meat left, and we usually freeze a fourth to a half batch of the beef and barley soup made from the leftover beef.
Roast Beef and Barley Soup
1 cup barley
3 to 4 cups liquid (water, pan juices/gravy from roast beef, wine, etc.)
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced (including leaves, if on stalks)
1-2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8-16 ounces (or whatever you have) leftover roast beef
1. Barley: Bring liquids except oil to a boil in medium to large saucepan or small stockpot. Remove from heat, stir in barley. Return to heat, turn burner to medium/medium low and simmer 20-30 minutes,until barely tender. Reserve, in saucepan, while you prepare the other ingredients for the soup. There will still be some liquid in the pan.
2. Vegetables: In sauté pan, add vegetable oil and heat on medium until oil begins to shimmer. Add vegetables, and sauté until just tender. Add vegetables on top of the barley. Don’t stir in–let the veggies lay on top of the barley for now.
3. Roast Beef: Chop leftover roast beef into bite-sized pieces, and add to barley and vegetables. Stir it all together, and see if you need to add more liquid. (You may want to reserve any leftover beef juices for this step, as it will add lots of immediate flavor.) Simmer 10 to 15 minutes until barley and vegetables are tender. Correct seasonings to your taste, and serve hot.