Beef, Black Bean & Barley Soup

It snowed today. First snow of the season.
This means it is soup season!

beef barly (3)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 pound Beef Cubes (for Stew) or left over Roast
1 whole Large Onion, Medium Diced
2 cloves Minced Garlic
2 whole Carrots, Smaller Ends Cut Into Rounds, Larger Ends Diced
2 whole Potatoes, Large Dice
1-½ teaspoon Seasoning Salt
1 teaspoon Sea Salt (or To Taste)
Ground Black Pepper To Taste
6 cups Beef Stock
2 cups Water Or As Needed
½ cups Pearl Barley
½ teaspoons Thyme
1 whole Bay Leaf
1 can (14.5 Oz. Size) Diced Tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil.

Brown the beef cubes* for three minutes in the oil, then add the onions and garlic. Lower the heat to medium low and cook until the onions are cooked and just start to caramelize. Stir as needed to keep onions and garlic from burning. Lower heat if necessary; drizzle a little more olive oil if needed to keep food from sticking.
(*If using leftover roast, sauté the onions and garlic first… then add the beef)

Add everything** except the tomatoes and beans to the pot and stir well. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover pot, and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Adjust heat as necessary to keep soup at a slow simmer. If the soup thickens too much, add a little more water or broth.

(**if using quick barley… reduce the simmer time to 1 hour)

Taste to correct seasonings, then add tomatoes and rinsed beans and simmer for another hour. Remove bay leaf before serving.

adapted from THIS recipe

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