Beef Barley Soup

As an organic cooperative, we at Farmer Direct encourage you to use organic ingredients and/or ingredients sourced from cooperatives whenever possible. Thank you!

Recipe by Shirley Geisen

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 2-3 hours, plus overnight cooking/soaking time
Makes 4-5 liters/quarts
Serves 16-20 (1 cup servings) or 8-10 (2 cup servings)

8 beef ribs
4 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. thyme
3 Tbsp. liquid beef bouillon (aka liquid broth concentrate)*, divided
1 ½ cups Farmer Direct Co-op Organic Hulled Barley
½ cup grated rutabaga (winter turnip)
2 cups chopped or grated carrots
2 cups chopped white button and cremini mushrooms
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped red and orange pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped zucchini
2 cups chopped leeks
1 (5 1/2 or 6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 tsp. hot horseradish
3/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place the ribs, bay leaves, salt, pepper, thyme and 1 1/2 tablespoons liquid bouillon into a slow cooker and cover with water. Turn on high and cook overnight.

Place the barley in a large bowl, cover with water by 3 inches and soak overnight.

In the morning, unplug the slow cooker and let the mixture cool. Once cool enough to handle, remove the ribs to a separate container and set aside. Pour the liquid through a fine sieve into a large stock pot. Strain the barley (discarding the soaking liquid) and add it to the pot. Add chopped vegetables, tomato paste, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons liquid bouillon, horseradish, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, then cover with water (about 3 to 4 cups). Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat and cook uncovered at a low boil for 1 hour. Add beef to the soup and cook for another 1 to 2 hours, until barley is tender.

Tip: If you prefer a more brothy soup, cover after an hour to prevent the soup from reducing, or add water or beef broth at the end of the cooking time. Both methods will dilute the seasonings, however, so be sure to taste the soup and add additional seasonings, if desired.

*Liquid bouillon/liquid broth concentrate is a concentrated form of bouillon that is very thick, almost a syrup, and it will give your soup a richer flavor. If you’re unable to find broth concentrate, you could oit the liquid bouillon during the slow cooker stage and add 1 cup of beef broth or dissolved beef bouillon when preparing the soup.