I make this soup at least 2-3x a year, especially when it’s cold or foggy out. Can be doubled or quadrupled for a crowd (or your freezer).
Adapted from beef / leek / barley soup recipe on Smitten Kitchen
- 4 meaty short ribs
- 4 leeks, sliced thinly cross-wise
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced coarsley
- 2 carrots chopped coarsley
- 4 ribs celery chopped coarsley
- 1 cup barley
- 12 cups water / chicken stock / beef stock (I frequently use some better than bouillon here)
Sear beef short ribs in oil in a cast iron (or other) pan until each side is dark brown.
Once seared on each side, add to pot with rest of ingredients. Simmer on low for 4-5 hours or until the short ribs fall away from the bone entirely and the barley is soft.
At this point, salt to taste. Don’t salt earlier, or your soup won’t come together the same way (it’ll be hard for the beef to soften). If I’m making it for a crowd, I’ll take the ribs out and chop them coarsley as the sinew on the back edge of the short rib can be hard to chew. It’s possible to overcook it and completely remove all flavor from the short rib, so watch out for that too.
Beans, potatoes, more carrots, etc. are great things to add to this stew. The leeks are critical, but other things can be ommitted if you’re missing them.