This was a great starting point...and one with so many wonderful suggestions that helped create a truly 5 star soup.....using suggestions from earlier reviews, I used about 1/4 cup of flour, with freshly cracked pepper, a pinch of dried thyme and a pinch of rosemary to season the meat before browning in olive oil. Then simmered the beef with 2 cups of beef stock, 2 cups of chicken stock (the magic ingredient, in my mind) and 1 cup of Merlot (or any decent red wine). (Use low sodium brands if possible). I also add a few spoonfuls (maybe 1tblsp total) of "Better than Bouillion" for the concentrated beef taste and a splash of worchestershire sauce...... Simmered for a least 2 hours or until the beef was nice and tender. Sauted the veggies in some olive oil.....added an extra carrot, a parsnip, used fresh baby portabella's that were diced instead of sliced.....and added to the soup pot along with a full cup of barley and another cup each of merlot and beef broth ..Cooked for another 70 - 80 minutes or so. As the barley cooked, I adjusted the amount of liquid as needed (adding your choice of beef broth/stock; water and demi-glace or a product like "better than bouillion" or wine. Forgot all about the sour cream....I'll try adding that when I have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
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This was a great starting point...and one with so many wonderful suggestions that helped...