Looking for a dish to warm you up on a cold day? Try some beef & barley soup. You get the warmth of the broth, the nutrition of the barley, and the flavor of the beef. The dish can easily be placed in a slow cooker and left to cook while you work. Below you will find my recipe for this delightful soup.
3 ½ - 4 cups Beef broth (enough to cover the meat)
1 ½ - 2 pounds beef stew meat
⅓ cup pearl barley
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced into bite size pieces
¼ teaspoon celery seed
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
To start, you need a some good beef broth. Homemade would be best. I used Alton Brown's recipe for beef broth. As for the stew meat, it's best if you can find a butcher who will custom cut some beef for stews. This way you can know exactly what beef you have. Many butchers will just mix up extra leftover chunks and throw them in a package and label them beef stew meat.
In a slow cooker, combine all the ingredients. Save the salt and pepper to add in the end to your own taste. Set your cooking to a medium setting and let it cook all day. If you are home for this then, I like to add the carrots with an hour to go, so that they are not complete mush when you eat them.
Your soup will be done when the beef is fork tender. Serve and enjoy! Refrigerate any leftovers as soon as possible and try to finish in 1-2 days.