Good Morning Everyone!
I hope today's posting finds you well and drier than me. We are having a bit of a monsoon season here in PDX which makes it hard to believe that Summer growing season is just around a corner. I sure won't need to water anytime soon.
Anyway if you are lamenting what the weather is going to do to your Holiday grilling plans I'll bet you'll enjoy my latest soupy creation. Beefy Barley Lentil Soup got top marks from Himself and Lil'man so I am quite pleased. I was very surprised at how rich and meaty it tasted given that there was just 2 lbs of meat in a 4 quarts of soup. It was also super easy to prepare and economical. Less that $10 for a double batch. That's what I call Frugal!
Got leftovers from the Holiday grilling party? Then give this recipe a whirl as way to use up your leftover ribs and burger patties as well as the ubiquitous veggie tray later in the week. A few moments prep for a hot meal and a reduction in waste in the kitchen. Everybody wins.
Beefy Barley Lentil Soup
I am a sucker for deals. Nothing makes me happier when I am shopping to find something I know will make a vat of yummy nutritious food for my family without hitting my wallet too hard. This is especially true of meat. Being Texans meat is a big deal in our diet. That's not to say we don't eat veggies and other things, but that protein and beef in particular is important. This soup was inspired by a package of boneless beef ribs I recently purchased on sale. This a cheap super lean new-to-me cut was billed by my butcher as a “good for the grill” item but one look I knew that it was destined for a date with my slow cooker.
1lb boneless beef ribs or similar stewing meat
1lb ground beef
1c celery, chopped
1c carrots, chopped
1c barley, dry
1c lentils, dry
15oz can of tomatoes, whole or diced
2c beef broth
1/2c fresh parsley, sage, oregano and garlic greens, sliced
3T Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Medium sauce pan with lid
Pie tin or plate
Large plastic container with lid 16oz or bigger
Cutting board and knife
Crock pot or slow cooker
The night before you make the soup, place the ribs in the sauce pan, cover with water and lightly boil till fork tender (about one hour). If you are using leftover ribs you can obviously skip the next few steps.
Using the tongs remove the ribs to a pie plate, cover and refrigerate.
Allow the cooking liquid to cool on the stove top and then pour it off into a large plastic container. Refrigerate as well. This will become the beef broth for the soup.
Wash up the sauce pan and any other dishes. Wipe down kitchen and head to bed.
In the morning, set up crock pot in a space suitable for long term cooking.
Assemble all the components of the soup.
Return the sauce pan to the stove top, add the ground beef and cook till well browned. If you are using leftover cooked burger patties just chop finely and use the pan to reheat them.
While the beef is cooking, prep the vegetation. Here is where the contents of that party tray comes in handy.
Add both the carrots and celery to the beef when browned to sweat a bit and absorb the flavor of the meat.
Uncover and skim the solid fat off the top of the reserved broth from the ribs.
Measure out the barley and lentils into the colander, rinse well and pour into the crock pot.
Add the vegetable and meat mixture to the crock as well and then deglaze the saucepan with a bit of the broth.
Pour the rest of the broth and deglazing liquid into the pot.
Open and stir in the tomatoes into the crock juice in all. Break up whole tomatoes into smaller chunks by crushing them with your hands.
Mix in herbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to stew.
Top off the crock with enough water to bring the top of the soup within an inch of the top.
Cover the crock and set it to cook for the longest setting, approximately 10 hours.
Condiments. If desired top stew with Parmesan cheese or chopped spring onions.