Winter is in the air, and the first thing that comes to my mind is soup. I love soup! It could be 100 degrees outside, and what I would want to eat is soup. Recently found pressed barley at my local grocery store. (Well in all honesty I had bought it before, but I actually thought it was oatmeal!) My husband came grocery shopping with me this past weekend, and as we stopped by the deli counter so I could get some ground beef, he saw some stew meat that he commented sounded good. He was thinking I could fry it up and throw it in sandwiches or stir fry or something, not realizing that stew meat is usually rather tough, which is why it is for stews…they cook a long time. Anyway, we got the meat, and I got the barley, and I new that this week I would be making beef barley stew.
I started out by sauteing the beef with maybe a tablespoon of olive oil, and throwing some chopped up onion in the pan with it. I cooked the meat and onions until the meat was just about done, and a little brown.
While that was cooking, I chopped up two carrots, opened and drained a small can of corn, and got out some frozen garlic. I threw about a tablespoon of garlic in with the meat, and another one in the crock pot with the vegetables.
When the meat was done, I poured the entire pan, drippings and all into the crock pot with the vegetables and mixed it all up a bit. I added 5 cups of water, a tablespoon of dried thyme, and some salt and pepper to the pot as well. I also used a little chicken bouillon for flavor, as I don’t have any beef. I then gave the entire pot a good stir.
I put a lid on the pot, turned it on low, and
I set aside 1 1/2 cups of barley, for my husband to add after he got home from work, after it had been cooking for over three hours.
When I came home I checked the soup, and the barley had expanded to the point there was almost no water in it the pot, and it was almost overflowing. (Note to self * Your crock pot cannot handle 1.5 cups of barley for a soup…try less next time!)
I didn’t take a photo as I was more concerned with adding some liquid to the pot than taking pictures….I added another cup to the pot, and this made the texture very stewy, and not so much thick clumpy gooey oatmealy if you know what I mean.
Since the soup was pretty much done, I did’t have to do anything but add water once I got home. However, a good winter soup does not seem right without some bread to go with it. I made some quick rise bread sticks with rosemary sprinkled over the top of the dough, and garlic butter painted over the top.
I will be honest, the soup was pretty bland. Both my husband and I added some salt to our bowls, as well as a sprinkle or 4 of tobasco sauce. Then, this tasted great!
I found the recipe for the bread sticks on food.com. Here is the recipe that I used and is in my photographs.
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
3 cups bread flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour)
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast (I used a tablespoon since I was using whole wheat)
Make dough using your favorite method- bread machine, mixer or by hand.
Roll out into a 10×12 inch rectangle.
Cut into strips about 3/4 inch wide.
Give each strip a twist and place on a greased cookie sheet.
Let rise for at least 20 minutes or more if you have time.
Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. (Mine took 8-10 minutes)
Brush with butter and sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan cheese. (I melted butter and garlic and brushed on the garlic butter)
The soup serves about 10 helpings, and is 5 weight watchers points a bowl. The bread sticks with the garlic butter are 3 points each. All in all, a healthy meal, that you can fill up on!