This came out excellent. I ended up making it twice in one week. I followed some of the other's suggestions. I doubled the barley, used 4 cans of beef broth and one can of chicken broth (no bouillon), and added a third cup of wine towards the end as well - it was delicious! I tried it once with fresh thyme from the garden (added it towards the end) and that added a nice flavor to it. If you double the barley, add more liquid, else the barley will soak up all the soup and you will have stew.
I tried it once with regular mushrooms and once with half fresh shitake mushrooms. The shitakes gave it a little better flavor in everyone's opinion, but it was great both ways.
I tried it once with small meatballs (Italian wedding soup style) since I didn't have a beef roast in the house. This was terrible. Definitley stick with a decent shoulder or other roast cut into small cubes.
This soup is best the second day so make plenty extra. Serve with a good crusty french loaf toasted.
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This came out excellent. I ended up making it twice in one week. I followed some of the...