I love to make this soup during the winter months, it is very easy to make and requires only one pot. When I serve it as a main course, I only serve a salad with this dish as it is a complete meal with the beef, vegetables and the barley, it is also a good starter on a chilly night.
- 1 1/2 lb stewing beef
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large chopped onion
- 1 large chopped bell pepper
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 14 oz. diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted tomatoes)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup frozen pearl onions
- ½ cup pearl barley
- Salt and pepper
- Parsley or celery leaves for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the beef and brown on all sides. Remove the beef and add the onion, cook until soft, add the bell pepper, garlic, diced tomatoes as well as the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. Return the beef to the pot, season with salt and pepper, add the bay leaf and three cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the beef is tender (you may need to add more water depending on what cut of meat you are using and how long it takes to cook it).
Add the carrots, celery, pearl onions and barley, cook until the vegetables are tender and barley is cooked. Remove the bay leaf, garnish with chopped parsley or celery leaves.
Note: Pearl barley cooks faster than hulled barley but is also less rich in nutrients. If you prefer to use hulled barley, soak it for two hours and add it to the beef before you add the vegetables.