This Hearty Beef and Barley Soup is the perfect meal for the cooler, and soon-to-be colder months. A full meal in a bowl, with hearty chunks of tender beef, plenty of veggies, and wholesome pearled barley. It is rich and flavorful and just what we all want on a chilly evening. My favorite kind of food for my favorite time of year. Serve it with some warm, crusty bread and good, salted butter, a glass of red wine or a rich, dark beer and you've got yourself the perfect, coziest dinner.
Like I've written many times before, fall is my favorite season. I love the chill in the air and the cozy recipes. But, let me tell you what happens to me every year: Toward the end of summer I start getting really excited for fall. I start jotting down recipe ideas, planning blog posts with the greatest intentions and highest ambitions, doodling photo ideas, and then fall actually happens and I barely get a chance to do any of it! Why is fall so dang busy??
I've been planning to make this soup since fall began and here I am finally making and posting it. Fall and Winter cooking is my favorite and I have pages and pages (literally) of recipe ideas plus tried and true favorites that I just never get around to making before the seasons slip away. I'm making more of an effort this go around, I promise.
Back to this Beef and Barley soup.
This recipe is my version of Karen's of The Food Charlatan blog. Hers is the first food blog I ever really started following and cooking from. Her recipes are amazing, approachable, and always turn out so perfectly! This soup is an all time favorite from her site. Another one I make on repeat, especially this time of year is her Slow Cooker Basil Chicken in a Coconut Curry Sauce. She has comfort food down to a science and her blog posts and stories are so entertaining! If you aren't already following her, you should!
I did add a few of my own little twists to this recipe, but still, it is absolutely hers (or her mother in laws if you go read her post). In my version, I added a cup of wine to my broth because the French-woman in me just can't help it. I also added some bay leaves and rosemary because I love them in hearty soups. Other than that and a few minor changes to the process, I left it just as she has it written.
Putting the Beef in this Beef and Barley Soup
Another thing about my most recent version that is so special is that I used a beautiful, local chuck roast from my friends at Hayfield Farm. Erica and Dylan are the picture of responsible, loving farmers - loving to each other, to their animals, and to the earth. They take care and pride in every step of the process, from raising the calves, to having them butchered and processed locally and with the most minimal waste. If you want soup bones and harder to find butcher's cuts, they've got them. And not just beef, they offer pork, lamb, a variety of sausage, and more. It's all delicious and I feel so lucky and totally spoiled to have it in my freezer. Also, if you follow me on Instagram you know they have the MOST beautiful eggs that have ever existed.
I started with about a 4 pound, bone-in chuck roast and trimmed and cubed it myself. I probably ended up with about 3 pounds of meat, so a bit more than the recipe calls for, but that's never a bad thing. Just aim for 2-3 pounds of good, marbled stew meat. And, if you can, try to find a local source for your meat. You won't just be doing yourself and your family a favor, but you'll be supporting your local economy, your local farmers, and the environment as well.
I hope you'll give this beef and barley soup a try! Let me know if you do. Don't forget to Pin it for later by clicking on any of the images in this post!
Make sure to check out the original over at The Food Charlatan and also, especially if you are local to the Fauquier County area, go check out Hayfield Farm as well. They have a winter meat CSA that will keep your freezer stocked and your belly happy all winter long! xo - AnitaPrint
More hearty recipes to use up that delicious local meat! All of these are getting photo updates over the next few months. Ignore the old, terrible photos, but do follow the recipes. They are delicious!!
My Simple Pot Roast (I'll be using a Hayfield Chuck Roast and updating this post very soon! Like, tomorrow!)