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Slow-cooker beef and barley soup

January 05, 2009

Slow-cooker beef and barley soup



28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium yellow onions, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup pearl barley
2 pounds blade steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes and their juice until smooth, about 15 seconds. Set aside.

In a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onions, tomato paste, thyme and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Saute until the onions are softened and lightly browned, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Stir in the wine, using a spoon to scrape up any browned bits.

Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker, then stir in the processed tomatoes, both broths, carrots, soy sauce and barley.

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Season the meat with salt and pepper, then nestle it into the other ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 9 to 11 hours or on high for 5 to 7 hours.

When done, uncover and turn off the heat. Let the cooking liquid settle for 5 minutes, then gently tilt the slow cooker and use a spoon to skim off as much fat as possible. Stir in the parsley, then adjust seasonings.

6 to 8 servings

- Recipe from "The Best Slow & Easy Recipes," by the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine, America's Test Kitchen, 2008

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