If you love soup, this beef barley soup with spinach is really tasty and easy to make. It’s a hearty soup which will serve 8 or more and perfect for a family or guests. There’s something really comforting about beef and vegetables simmered slowly for a long time. Adding barley and spinach makes it a wonderful and nutritious one-pot meal.
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To Make the Beef Barley Soup
The perfect cut of beef for this recipe is chuck or rump roast. Choose a 2 1/2 – 3 pound piece of beef and cut it into one-inch bite size pieces. I like to add a few beef neck bones just to flavor the broth. Other flavorings come from fresh vegetables like onion, carrots, and celery. The vegetables are mixed in with the beef and water in a big pot. Then I throw in a few sprigs of fresh thyme and bay leaf. After it has boiled and slowly simmered for one hour, I mix in the tomatoes, salt and pepper. At the last 30 minutes of cooking I stir the barley in to let it tenderize but still have a chewy bite like pasta. At this time, you can adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper according to you taste. Spinach is added at the last two minutes of cooking just to let it start to wilt. After the soup cooks, the meat is so tender and delicious!
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You can serve this soup with a side of crusty bread or mixed green salad. If you are entertaining, you can preboil the beef one day before or hours before your guests arrive and add the barley and spinach later. Make sure not to add barley in advance because it will soak up all the broth. As you can see, most of the cooking time is passive and you can do other things while the soup is slowly simmering.