I was inspired by this recipe in the latest issue of Cooking Light for Beef and Barley Soup. I adapted it, so check out CL if you want the original (example of a few changes: mine has more carrots, added mushrooms and a ton of flavor!)
Beef and Barley Soup
2 lbs beef stew meat, trimmed, and cut into 1 in. pieces (I use my kitchen shears for this)
Cooking spray (canola or olive)
salt and pepper (to sprinkle over meat)
2 cups chopped leak (rinse under water, and just use the white part of the leek-it reminds me of a giant green onion/scallion!)
3 cups chopped carrot
2 tsp. minced garlic (4 cloves)
5 1/2 cups of water
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp dried thyme
4 bay leaves
32 oz. beef stock (pick one with less sodium, no MSG, or other nasty ingredients)
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and brown half of the meat on all sides. Remove from pan and add the other half of the meat to brown.
Remove meat and add leeks, carrots, and garlic; stir and lightly brown about five minutes.
Return beef to pan. Add water and the next 5 ingredients (through beef stock). Allow to come to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour. Add barley and mushrooms and cook 30 minutes, until barley is tender. Discard bay leaves.
Another dinner this week was these chicken buffalo sausages “al fresco” brand, with the best way to eat butternut squash, aka roasted garlicky butternut squash (find under “Recipes” tab) and the best way to eat broccoli: roasted in the oven at 425 for about 15 minutes with mist of oil, salt, pepper, covered in aluminum foil.
Playing with my food.
What an absolutely gorgeous weekend: sunny and low 70’s. Joe and I decided it would be a perfect day for hanging Christmas lights outside! But we will NOT light them until the day after Thanksgiving. We did run out, though, and didn’t get to one of the pine trees. In case you’re interested, we’re doing white lights on three bushes in front of our house, and white on two pine trees in our front yard. Our tree inside will be colored lights. 🙂
I loved hearing the Baptism stories today at church. It is so common for people to hit rock bottom before they realize their need for Christ who saves them from the mess they’re in and the sin that is everyone’s lives. HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT. Not only does God forgive us of our sins, but then He pours out so much goodness and love even when we mess up day after day. God is so faithful and I’m amazed at how He works in our lives and picks us up when we are broken. I heard an amazing new song today in the car by a girl named JJ Heller called “Your Hands.” I hope you take 3.5 minutes to listen to this song.