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2 Blue's Beef Barley Soup

Submitted by: 2 Blue

Recipe Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb beef sirloin steak, cubed small
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups beef broth (we use Better Than Bullion paste)
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup pearl barley
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoo n crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
3 carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, chopped, 1 onion, chopped into large pieces
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional) * salt and black pepper, to taste

Cooking Directions:
1.  Preparing Barley: Like all grains, before cooking barley, rinse it thoroughly under running water and then remove any dirt or debris that you may find.

2.  In a large dutch oven heat oil over medium heat, Add meat and garlic. Cook until meat is browned; drain if necessary.

3.  Stir in remaining ingredients except salt & black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally until barley and carrots are tender and fully cooked.

4.  Season to taste with salt & black pepper and serve. NOTES: Add more water if soup becomes too thick upon standing. Pearl barley takes a minimum of 1 hour to cook, whereas hulled barley takes 1.5 hours or more.

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