I'm going to the shore this weekend for sand and snow. Since I won't have access to all my cooking tools, we'll survive with some good cheeses and pates, fondue, bread and a hearty soup. If I hadn't made a huge batch of choucroute last weekend (what a porkfest), I'd be doing that instead. I made this soup a few weeks ago and it was great. It can easily be doubled.
BEEF AND BARLEY SOUP (adapted from an Epicurious recipe) Use skirt steak or filet mignon instead of a cheaper cut, the result is worth it.
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped peeled potatoes (optional)
14 oz can roasted tomatoes
6+ cups beef stock or beef and chicken stock
1/2 cup pearl barley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 pound skirt steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Melt butter in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté 10 minutes. Add stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add barley, tomatoes and thyme. Simmer until barley is tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
(Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Return to simmer before continuing.)
Quickly sear beef in olive oil. Add beef to soup and simmer about 10 minutes. Thin with more hot stock if needed.
Mix in parsley.