Recipe: Beef, Barley and Leek Soup


Beef, Barley and Leek Soup, before cooking, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog
Beef, Barley and Leek Soup, before cooking, Courtesy: Food Mingle Blog

I have been reading American author Laurie Colwin’s book, “Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen,” which is both a cookbook and a personal memoir. The book was recommended to me by Denise Landis, Editor in Chief of The Cook’s Cook.  She said that if I wanted to write in a casual style, then I should be careful not to be too casual – she recommended Laurie’s books to me.

In addition to “Home Cooking,” (1988) Ms. Colwin also authored “More Home Cooking,” (published posthumously 1993) before her untimely death in 1992.  She died unexpectedly of a heart attack at the young age of 48, in Manhattan, per wikipedia.com

Ingredients:

Home Cooking, by Laurie Colwin, 1988,
Home Cooking, by Laurie Colwin, 1988,

2 beef short ribs
1/2 cup barley
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 onions, chopped
3 big leeks, cut lengthwise (use both white and green parts)
2 cups mushrooms, chopped (optional)
8 cups filtered water (or 8 cups beef stock)
black pepper

Directions:

  1.  Trim the short ribs to get any surface fat and place on bottom of soup pot.
  2. Add barley, garlic, onions, leeks, and optionally mushrooms. You can also, at this point, add any other vegetable you have on hand.
  3. Pour in the filtered water.
  4. Simmer for a minimum of three hours.
  5. At the end of simmering, skim off the fat, take the short ribs out, cut the meat from the bones, chop it and put it back in the soup.

Food mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • I added two medium potatoes, cubed, to stretch the recipe and add taste and texture.
  • I found that this soup needed more liquid. I used 8 cups total (6 cups beef stock and 2 cups water). It didn’t fully cover the other ingredients (see picture above).  I gradually added about 2 more cups of water during the cooking process – the vegetables did give off some liquid as well.

Yield: 8-10

Source:  “Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen” by Laurie Colwin, 1988 and http://www.wikipedia.com.

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