Friday, December 18, 2009

Beef, leek and barley soup

This was an easy one, almost entirely just chopping and waiting. I didn't even bother stirring. I put it all together while my coffee was brewing Saturday morning and it was done by the time I was ready for lunch. I hadn't bothered to trim the short ribs though and there was a slick of liquid fat on the surface, so I pulled the meat out to chop and stuck the whole pot in the fridge until it was chilled through, at which point I had the small, freakish pleasure of pulling the thick white sheets of hardened fat off the top. Then I put the chopped meat back in and heated some up for dinner.
I changed Deb's recipe just a little bit, using half chicken broth and half water for the liquid and adding 8 oz. of mushrooms. I also ended up using three short ribs instead of two because that's what the butcher gave me (and charged me for — it wasn't a kindness). And more leeks, since that's how my favorite greengrocer bundles them. I think this would be equally good with chicken thighs instead of beef, so that's probably how I'll make it next time. Actually, considering how many people I know who have been sniffly or downright ill lately, I should probably make a pot of chicken soup pronto.

Beef, leek and barley soup
via Smitten Kitchen

3 short ribs, trimmed of fat
1/2 c. barley
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 leeks, white and pale green parts, cut lengthwise and then chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
4 c. low-salt chicken broth
4 c. water

Put short ribs in the bottom of the soup pot and all all other ingredients on top of that. Let simmer for at least three hours. Skim fat from the top or chill through and remove fat then. Take the meat off the bones, chop it and put it back in the pot. Salt liberally!

[originally posted on my old food blog 10.6.2008]

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