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Vegetable Beef Soup

Julie Weisman

Food Editor's Notes: This is a rich and filling soup, almost like a stew. Serve it as a main course in big bowls, with a salad and bread to round out the meal. The shiitake mushrooms add a smoky flavor and a chewy texture. You can substitute other mushrooms, or leave them out entirely if you have children like mine that are not mushroom lovers. You can also substitute rice or pasta (any small shape) for the barley. 


2 3/4 pound flat cut (single) brisket or top of the rib, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes
8 cups beef broth (canned or homemade)
3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
1/3 cup pearl barley, rinsed
3 bay leaves
1-ounce package dried shiitake mushrooms
3 15-16-ounce cans kidney beans, undrained
Soak the shiitake mushrooms in a small amount of boiling water until softened. Remove the stems and discard. Cut the mushroom caps into 1/4-inch pieces.

Combine all ingredients, except the beans, in a large, heavy pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is almost tender. Stir beans, with juices, into the soup. Cover, simmer until meat is tender, about 30 minutes more. Remove the bay leaves and season with salt.
This soup is very good when first made, and better the next day or after having been frozen.

Julie Weisman works for ShalomBoston.com and belongs to a family of great Jewish cooks.

Vegetable Beef Soup


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