Sometimes food happens in the castle here due to chance. I was shopping in the meat department at my favorite grocery store. Someone had discarded a package of beef soup bones in the shrimp section. I took that as a sign that bone broth soup needed to happen. There’s something so primal and satisfying about making broth from beef bones. It’s so much more flavorful than broth from a can or carton.
The beef bones came home with me and I roasted them and then threw them into a pot with a bag of vegetables I collect in the freezer for my broth adventures. I collect the onion ends, asparagus discards, all of the veg remainders from cooking that still have plenty of flavor but are not quite so pretty. I let the broth simmer for several hours then strained it and refrigerated it for the next day.
I diced a large onion and a couple of small leeks I’d picked up when I bought the beef bones. I sautéed them in a drizzle of oil before adding my bone broth.
As the broth came to a boil I diced 4 large carrots and added them to the pot along with 2 small cans of mushrooms. Fresh mushrooms would have been ideal but they were a last-minute choice and I had canned mushrooms as a backup. I added thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper and turned the heat down to medium low and let the soup simmer for about 45 minutes.
When the timer went off I turned the heat up to medium high to bring it to a boil. I added a bag of frozen lima beans and a cup of pearl barley, then reduced the heat to medium low and covered the pot. I timed it for 20 minutes.
At 20 minutes I added sherry, one of our favorite touches for soups. I added the sirloin I’d removed from the roasted bones and added salt and pepper to taste. I let it simmer for a few more minutes so that the meat could heat through and my soup was done. I couldn’t wait to try it! Soup is one of my favorite foods to make as well as eat.
I loved the flavors in the soup! I hadn’t used leeks in quite a while and had never made soup with barley. I’d had cauliflower pieces in my vegetable discards that I used in making the bone broth and that flavored the soup fairly well. I would have liked a little less of the cauliflower flavor to let the lima beans be more of a presence. Oh well, you learn as you go! I’ll have to make it again soon without the cauliflower and see what the flavors are like.
The soup freezes well in portions and can be quickly thawed in the microwave.
Beef Barley Leek Soup with Baby Lima Beans
1 1/2 cups sliced leeks (about 2 medium leeks)
1 large onion; diced
10 cups beef broth (I made my own)
2 small cans mushrooms; drained
1# beef sirloin; roasted and cubed
4 large carrots; diced
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bag frozen baby lima beans
1 cup pearl barley
1/4 cup sherry
In a large skillet saute leeks and onions with a drizzle of oil until beginning to brown in places.
Add leeks, onions, broth, mushrooms, sirloin and carrots to a soup pot. Add seasonings and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover pot. Cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add barley and lima beans and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes covered.
Add sherry and taste test for seasonings.