This one’s for the boys. I cannot say why, but that was my experience with this hearty soup on a recent Shabbos. We were having some guests over for Friday Night Dinner, most of whom were boys. I started the meal off with this soup, and began with the disclaimer: “I made this soup on a fast day (Ta’anit Esther) and did not try it, so I am bringing out salt and pepper. Feel free to season unabashedly.” When I began eating my portion it tasted good, but I proceeded to season unabashedly. The base of the soup was delicious, just needed a bissel more bang. Either way, as I was preparing the main course in the kitchen while everyone finished their soup, two of the boys came in for more.
Well if that isn’t a compliment and warming to the heart, what is?
I personally reached for seconds of the broccoli salad, and the carrot kugel one of our guests brought, but the hit of the meal seemed to be the soup. For this I have to thank Kosher By Design Teens and Twenty Somethings (and thank you Elisha Caplan for getting us this gift before we got married!). The title of this cookbook is deceiving- while I may be a twenty-something, I imagine these recipes will be good at least well into my early thirties (just kidding, I mean forever). Other favorites in this cookbook that we’ve made are: Southwest Rotisserie Chicken Wraps (p. 94- Great for leftover boiled chicken); Thai-Chicken Burgers (p. 112- the peanutbutter curry sauce is out of this world); Spinach and Shells (p. 144- easy and mmm).
This recipe is called “Beef and Barley Soup” (p. 60), and it is easy and delicious. You begin by boiling the barley in one pot, while in another you brown meat. The recipe calls for flanken, but I used stew beef, which we had in the freezer. In the same pot in which you browned the meat, you then saute onions, garlic, mushrooms (I used portobello instead of crimini), add dijon mustard, cooking sherry (that was a first), and some chicken and beef stock. While the recipe calls to simmer the mushroom mixture separetly from the barley, I combined the mushroom/beef mixture with the barley and simmered it for a half an hour.
And while I said this one is for the boys, it is bound to please anyone on a cold Friday night. Enjoy!