One of my favorite grains is barley. Fairly versatile, I can use it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Eating sparingly and not overdoing it, barley can provide a tasty addition to any meal. In the case of the recipe below, the Beef Barley Soup is an old world recipe. If you do not care for the taste of turnips and parsnips, feel free to substitute other vegetables. I’ve heard green beans and peas make a wonderful addition. The dish is perfect for the cold weather of winter.
1 1/2 lbs of beef stew meat
2 lbs of beef soup bones and beef shoulder bones
2 large onion, sliced
1-2 white turnips
2-3 celery stalks
1 large or 2 medium leeks, sliced
1/4 cup of pearl barley
1/4 split green peas
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly chopped parsley to garnish
Put the bones and 1/2 of one of the onions, largely sliced, into a large pan. Cover with cold water, season and bring to a boil; skim if necessary and let simmer covered for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until needed. Peel and chop finely remaining onions, peel and chop carrots and turnips, chop celery; and wash the leeks thoroughly and slice thinly.
Drain the stock from the bones and add enough water to broth to make 7 cups and return it to the pan with meat, onions, barley and split peas. Season with Salt and pepper and bring to a boil, skim if necessary. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for about half an hour. Add the rest of the vegetables and simmer gently for an hour or so, until the meat is tender. Check the seasoning and then serve is large bowls topped with chopped parsley.