Did you know that January is National Soup Month? I didn't until I started reading the food blogs and there was much hullabaloo about it. Funny thing was that I was actually looking for a soup recipe when I went to reading the food blogs in the first place, so I'm calling it fate. More specifically I was looking for a "Beef and Barley"-type soup. I found what may be a new favorite (I haven't tried the recipe yet, but I'm just going out on a limb): Portobello, Beef, and Barley Soup found via the Washington Post.
Portobello Mushroom, Beef, and Barley Soup:
2 tsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. lean top round, cut into cubes
4 C. beef broth
1 C. water
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 leeks, white part only, sliced crosswise (I'll probably omit this just because of lack of availability).
1 medium onion, diced
4 medium portobello mushroom caps, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1/2 C. pearl barley
1 C. diced canned tomatoes
In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the beef and cook until the cubes have browned on all sides, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the beef broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and skim off any fat from the surface. Add the carrot, celery, leeks, onion, mushrooms, bay leaf, and thyme. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add the barley and cook, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes, or until all the vegetables are barely tender and the barley is fully cooked but still firm. Add the tomatoes with their juice and cook for 1 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and thyme. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
Sounds wonderful for tomorrow since we'll be getting some snow. I'm sure I'll tweak the recipe while I make it, but that's the reference recipe I'll be using. Stay warm everybody.