1 strip bacon
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
Leftover beef or half a pound of beef (not ground), chopped fine
Any leftover sauce or gravy
1-4 cups of beef or chicken stock, to taste
1 cup beer or red wine (optional)
Quick-cooking barley (or regular barley; just follow the package directions for cooking time)
1. In a dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside. If using raw beef, cook in bacon fat until nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
2. Cook onions until edges begin to brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
3. Return bacon to the pot, add carrots, celery, beef, leftover gravy or sauce, beer or wine if using, and two cups of stock. Add herbs and pepper, salt if needed.
4. Let cook for 15-20 minutes or until carrots are almost tender. Check broth level, adding more stock to taste.
5. Add 1/2 cup of barley to the soup pot and cook according to package directions.
For the complete essay, click here: On Beef and Barley Soup
© 2011, OnBlank.com