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Beef Barley Mushroom Soup

Our weather continues to be nasty. My lilacs have set, but I fear they will never bloom with this terrible weather. DT was arriving home after being away three days, so I wanted to greet him with something warm and wonderful.

Beef Barley Mushroom Soup

In the freezer I had two little ribs from a roasted prime rib of beef. I simmered the ribs in a quart of Swanson's Organic Beef Stock, stripped the meat from the bones and refrigerated the stock overnight. I only retrieved a scant cup of beef for my soup, but the aroma from the pot told me I had a winner already.

This morning, a hard layer of beef fat had settled on the top of the beef stock. It was discarded. For the soup, I sautéed about one cup of diced yellow onion and 8 ounces of sliced button mushrooms. After they browned, I deglazed the pan with about 1/3 cup of white wine, added the reserved beef and the stock.

For the barley, I tried a product that may very well change my life. See, I just love pearled barley - but it takes nearly two hours to cook (not to mention soaking it overnight!). Quaker now sells pearled barley that has been steamed, dried again and packaged. It takes less than 15 minutes to cook and has the same nutritional values as regular pearled barley. I can't find much information about the product, but the only ingredient on the package is "pearled barley".

By the way... did you know that the trusty old Quaker Oats Company is owned by Pepsi?

To finish the soup, I added the cooked barley (I boiled ½ cup quick barley - in salted water in a separate pan - for about 10 minutes) to the pot, threw in about two teaspoons fresh thyme leaves and added a few twists of my pepper grinder.

Delicious and hearty meal.