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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Epiphany Season Menu: Beef-Barley Soup (from leftovers of Pot Roast)

Feast of Saint Scholastica

So, you know that yummy pot roast recipe I shared with you?   If you eat beef, you really must try that recipe, it is just so good!  If you are like me, you love to cook once and have two meals. So plan ahead for plenty of leftovers and you can make a very quick and easy soup the next day.

I ended up with about 3 cups of useable leftovers (minus the fat that thickens up in the fridge overnight, we scraped that off).  That is from a 2 1/2 lb roast with 4 people eating it (We had two who weren't interested and had cereal instead).  Here's how I made soup with that:

Scrape off the fat from the left overs and cut meat and vegetables into bite-sized pieces.  Set this aside.  Don't discard the gravy or residual "juices"...they are a great addition to the soup.

In a large pot, I poured about 5 cups of beef broth/stock (I had a little broth leftover from making the roast and then added another box of broth) and then another 4 cups of chicken broth - it is just what I had on hand.    Don't be too picky about those amounts.  If you have more broth, use more barley (like 1 1/2 c or so), if you have less, use less barley (like 1/3 cup).  So, the barley - I added about 1/2 a cup of pearled barley to the soup and cranked up the heat to bring it to a boil.  This was all the barley I had, otherwise I would have added more, probably a cup.  Boil the barley (a low, steady boil) until the barley is plumped and softened.  I think this takes around 30 minutes, but check your package instructions.

When the barley is cooked, turn down the heat to medium (or lower, but you want a slow simmer) and add the leftover meat and vegetables (and any residual "gravy").  You just want to warm the meat/veggies and meld the flavors.  I let mine simmer for about 30 more minutes.

Serve with crusty bread!