Sunday, September 13, 2009

Easy Beef Barley Soup: Organic and Delicious!

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© photo copyright Carrie Boyko 2009
Organic Beef Barley Soup

It's the weekend as I write this, and I've spent some time on the water today. After a thunderstorm, soaked and cold, it always feels good to eat nice, warm comfort food. A hearty, soup and warm, homemade bread is my first choice. Here's today's pick, and this one is a man-pleaser, if you're cooking for a special guy. It earned the thumbs up from my husband, a coveted award at my home.


My trademark recipes are make-ahead items, allowing me to spend my time with family or friends when they visit to join us for a meal. This soup can all be prepared ahead, and then combined at the last minute in a final, short simmer before serving.

I like to pair the soup with warm, homemade bread from my bread maker. Most bread makers have a setting that allows you to place ingredients into the breadmaker ahead, while the cooking starts later. All you have to do is determine when you'd like it to be done. Warm bread is definitely a nice complement to soup.

As long as you choose a bread that doesn't have milk or other ingredients that spoil quickly, you can add your ingredients and set the timer, making sure that the yeast in on top, in a pocket of dry ingredients. It is imperative that the yeast not combine with wet ingredients until the bread maker begins to mix the ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 lb. Organic Beef Stew Meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 32-ounce containers Organic Beef Broth, or homemade equivalent

1 medium Organic Onion, minced
1/2 bunch of Organic Celery, chopped
5-6 Organic Carrots, shredded or cut very small

2-3 Cups Organic Barley, prepared
Organic Pepper
Sea Salt

Instructions:
  1. Prepare the barley, using beef broth instead of water. Cool and store in the refrigerator.
  2. Brown the beef pieces quickly on medium heat, and then simmer for 10 minutes in a small amount of the broth. Season the meat while browning with salt and pepper.
  3. Cool, strain and refrigerate the meat and broth. The broth will help the meat retain its moisture.
  4. When you're ready to make the soup, remove the barley to bring to room temperature.
  5. Combine meat, broth, and vegetables in a pot and bring to a boil.
  6. Add barley when the soup boils and lower heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with warm bread.
Sure, you can make this recipe with ingredients that are not organic. So, what will the difference be, you may ask. Your vegetables will not have been grown with pesticides and herbicides, which will then collect in the lining of your bowels and clog up your liver. The cow will not have been loaded with and antibiotics, which will add to your resistance of these important drugs.


But there's more. The flavor of your soup will be noticeably more vibrant, perhaps due to the lack of toxic elements potentially masking flavor. It's hard to say why, but organic foods have a more vivid and rich flavor which you won't be able to deny, if ever you do a comparison.

Try one sometime. Buy a 1/2 gallon of traditionally produced milk, and a 1/2 gallon of organic milk. Make sure they are the same fat content so that you are comparing apples to apples. Now pour a glass of each and place a sticker on the bottom of the organic milk cup. Play the magician's game and mix the two cups up on the table or counter. Taste and pick your favorite.

My family members are all milk lovers. They chose the organic milk over the regular. Check out my interview with another milk lover, where I got more positive input on the flavor of organic milk. Hope to see you soon in the dairy section. Don't forget your coupons. There are tons of $1 off coupons for organic dairy product brands online. Just print and shop.



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