Beef and Barley Soup for two

Beef and Barley Soup for two
from the kitchen of Ellen, with thanks to Cook's Illustrated


  • 8 oz blade steak, trimmed of gristle and cut into 1/2" pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 6 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
  • steak dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 tsp oil and large saucepan over medium-high heat until just smoking.  Add steak and cook until browned all over, 5-7 minutes.  Transfer to bowl.
  • remaining 1 tsp oil in now empty pot until shimmering.  Add mushrooms, carrots, and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until any mushroom juice has evaporated and vegetables begin to brown, 6-8 minutes.  Add tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add broth, soy sauce, and browned steak, along with any accumulated juices, and bring to simmer, scraping bottom of pot to loosen any browned bits.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • in barley and continue to simmer until barley and steak are tender, 10-15 minutes.  Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.


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