CEiMB: Beef and Mushroom Barley Soup

This week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe was my choice!  I had a hard time choosing as there are so many fantastic looking recipes in Ellie’s cookbooks.  I decided to choose this recipe for Beef and Mushroom Barley Soup as it sounded like a nice, warm, hearty soup to start of the new year, and it brings back fond memories of high school.  My best friend and I had this soup (school cafeteria style, so not nearly as delicious!) almost everyday while in high school, along with some grapefruit.  Kind of random, but we enjoyed it! 

While we enjoyed the school version of this soup, Ellie’s version is so much better!  Even my mushroom hating husband ate two bowls of this, as did the toddler.  The hardest part of this soup was locating barley in my grocery store!  Once that was taken care of, the rest was easy.  I really, really enjoyed this and will definitely make it again and again.  I followed Ellie’s recipe except I omitted the celery (I hate celery!!), and I forgot to add the parsley at the end.  Thanks to all of the other CEiMB cooks for cooking along with me this week…I hope you all enjoyed this recipe as much as we did!

Beef and Mushroom Barley Soup
Source: From The Food You Crave by Ellie Kreiger, page 89

4 tsp olive oil
3/4 pound beef stew meat (preferably from the shank), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 ounces button mushrooms, coarsley chopped
2 medium carrots, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup) (I OMITTED)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp)
6 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt added diced tomatoes, with their juices
1/2 cup hulled or pearled barley
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried (I used dried)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I OMITTED)

In a large soup pot, heat 2 tsp of the oil over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle the meat with the salt and pepper.  Add the meat to the pot and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total.  Transfer the meat to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tsp oil to the pot.  Add the onions and mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat, stirrign, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the carrots, celery, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally.  Add the broth, tomatoes, browned meat, barley, and thyme adn bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the barley is cooked and the meat is tender, about 50 minutes.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Ladle into soup bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkling of parsley.

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BWD: World Peace Cookies

Check out that picture!  The husband got me a new fabulous camera for Christmas that takes phenominal food photos!  I am in love and can’t wait to play around with it some more.  Enough about that though, let’s move on to these delcious, decadent, chocolate cookies!  Rebecca from beurrista chose these World Peace Cookies for this week’s Baking with Dorie recipe, and what a great choice she made.  You can find the recipe on her blog, or on pages 138-139 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.

I had a heck of a time getting these cookies ready for baking.  The dough itself comes togther easily and chills in the refrigerator for 3 hours before you can slice and bake these.  That is where my trouble started.  The bittersweet chocolate chips I bought were big, and only after I got home did I realize Dorie said chopped bittersweet chocolate or mini chocolate chips.  Whoops!  Every time I cut a cookie from the dough log, it fell apart, unless I was lucky enough to cut somewhere without a chocolate chip (which happened maybe twice).  Thankfully, the cookies are easily put back togther, and after 12 minutes in the oven, we had delicous, chocolate cookies that if handed out around the world, could go a long way to contributing to world peace as their name suggests.  These are GOOD.

To see how the other BWD bakers enjoyed these, check out the blogroll here.  Up next is the Apple Coconut Family Cake on page 214.