- 2 1/2 pounds chuck roast
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 cups peeled, chopped carrots
- salt and pepper
- 7 cups water*
- 2 cups peeled, chopped potatoes
- 2 tablespoons beef base (I use Better Than Bullion)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/2 cup quick cooking barley**
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup half and half
- Cut meat into 3 inch chunks and trim fat. Season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. When oil is hot, sear meat 2-3 minutes per side, working in batches so the pan is not over crowded. In order to get that golden brown crust, don’t move the meat round in the pan as it cooks. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside. Clean pot if needed.
- In the same pot, heat another tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add onions and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook 3-4 minutes or until translucent and softened. Add water, potatoes, beef base, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves, thyme and oregano and stir over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, add meat back to the pot, cover and turn heat to low. Simmer about 3 hours, stirring now and then, until the beef is tender and falls apart easily.
- Remove the beef from the pot and break into bite sized pieces, then add it back to the pot. Add barley and peas. Gently boil for 15 minutes or until barley is tender. Remove bay leaves and stir in half and half, and taste – add salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve with warm crusty bread. I think this soup tastes even better the next day. Sometimes I’ll add another cup of beef broth (using the Better Than Bullion Base) to thin the soup the second day as the barley will absorb some of the broth.
*You can also use homemade or store-bought beef broth or stock and omit the water and beef base in the recipe.
**Regular barley can be used as well, it will just take a little longer to cook.