Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another Hearty Soup

And thus continues my experiments with using V8 as a base for soup. This time just a cup gives a rich twist to a classic beef barley soup, just in time for a nasty head cold. I've been trying so many home remedies, but nothing works like homemade soup and a steaming mug of ginger tea with honey and lemon.

Again, I used vegetables I had on hand in the crisper, but this would be equally as good with peas, corn, green beans, or zucchini in any combination instead of, or along with, kale and broccoli.

Tomatoey Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

America's Test Kitchen asserts that whole sirloin tip steaks make the best beef for soup, or alternately blade or flank steak. I used very affordable chuck stew beef and it turned out terrifically. This makes a large pot of soup, enough for about 8 large servings. It could be easily halved.

1lb beef, trimmed of fat and gristle and chopped into half-inch pieces
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery heart, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 cup V8
1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid 

3 packed cups kale, prepared*
2 cups small broccoli florets
4 1/2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup barley

Marinate beef in soy sauce for 15 minutes. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute onion, carrots, and celery for 5 minutes or until onion starts to turn translucent. Remove vegetables to a bowl. Add beef, with marinade, to pot and brown, stirring often, for 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Add red wine vinegar plus 1 Tbs of the V8 and cook for another minute or two, stirring constantly. Combine all ingredients in pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a strong simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes or until barley is soft and vegetables are tender. 

As with most soups, this is great leftover after all the flavors have had time to meld. The barley will continue to soak up moisture overnight and get puffier, which makes it even better. Keep extra beef broth on hand to add to leftovers to replace lost liquid. 

*To prep a head of kale, remove and discard the toughest stems and ribs and coarsely chop remaining leaves into bite-sized pieces.

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