Pearl barley, not to be confused by the tiny pasta of the same name, is used in this beef and barley soup. To give extra flavor, toast the raw barley first in olive oil to bring out its nutty flavor before cooking it in water.
2 teaspoons Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil
1 cup pearl barley
2 pounds beef shank
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2 large carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
7 cups hot water
1 cup frozen peas
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a two quart saucepan and when it is hot stir in the barley and cook it until it begins to brown. Pour the water over the barley and bring it to a boil. Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and cook until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain it in a colander and set aside.
Add the remaining olive oil to a soup pot over medium high heat. Add the beef shank and brown it well on both sides. Salt and pepper the meat to taste. Stir in the onion, celery, carrot, and bay leaf. Add the celery salt, oregano, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir the tomato paste into the hot water and add to the pot. Stir once or twice to combine the ingredients, cover the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the temperature to low and cook until the meat is tender, about 2 hours. Stir in the barley and peas.
Remove the meat from the soup. Cut the meat into bite size pieces and return to the pot. Discard the bone.
Reheat and serve or refrigerate the soup overnight and next day use a skimmer to remove the fat that has accumulated on the top before reheating.
This recipe is featured on show 2006 – Orzo! The Best!
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