Beef-Barley Soup by Nina Scott


Published: 12/19/2020 11:15:39 AM

With the first major snowstorm hitting us this week, it’s time for ultimate comfort food, and I know of none better than this soup.

I buy beef shank to make it, as it has a marrow bone in the center and lots of collagen in the connective tissues to give the broth heft. This is a very flexible recipe — you can leave out the tomatoes, substitute your favorite herbs and seasonings, etc.

I make mine in a pressure cooker, but it can also be done in a heavy pot on the stove top though it will take longer.

As with most soups, this is better made the day before you serve it. Serves 4-5.

Beef-Barley Soup


1 ¾ lbs. beef shank

2 T canola oil

1 medium peeled onion, 2 ribs celery, 1 large carrot, all chunked

3 cloves peeled garlic

Handful of parsley

¼ tsp. Herbes de Provençe

2 bay leaves

9 black peppercorns

6 c. water

1 c. crushed tomatoes

1 c. cooked pearl barley, the coarser the better

2 c. cooked mixed frozen vegetables (or add your own)

Salt to taste, a beef bouillon cube or 1-2 tsp Beef “Better than Bouillon”


Put oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker, heat over medium-high and sear the beef well on both sides. Add the vegetables, seasonings and 6 c. water. Cook at 10 lbs. pressure for 45-50 minutes.

Pour the contents into a colander set over a deep bowl. Let them cool, then discard the vegetables. Shred the meat, separating it from the gristle; be sure to add the marrow from the bone.

Put the broth and the meat back into the pot and add tomatoes, barley, and mixed vegetables. Check for seasoning. I usually add about a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to pick up the flavor.

That should help what ails you.

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