Seasonal Comforts: Very Veggie Beef Barley Soup

There are few dishes as hearty and warming as soup. And when that soup is brimming with seared beef, tender barley, and a collection of vegetables that's both healthy and beautiful, it's easy to go back for another bowl!

I like to use cubed beef roast for this soup, though round or sirloin steak will also work well. Because this recipe uses a pressure cooker to save time, the meat will be tender in the end, so save the fancy cuts of beef for another time! Also, don't skip the searing step! You want the meat to have a lovely texture and stand up to the downright generous amount of vegetables in this soup.

You can serve this soup with some crusty bread, crackers, or even a sandwich, but it's enough to be a meal on its own as well. A dark beer or robust cider are both ideal choices for pairing with it as well.

Very Veggie Beef Barley Soup

  • 2 lb. beef roast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I used a small rump roast)
  • 1 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 T. celeriac puree - or 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. carrots, halved and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 15 oz. diced roasted tomatoes
  • 1 c. pearl barley
  • 6 c. beef broth
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 c. chopped kale

Season the beef with salt & pepper. Place 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in the bottom of your Instant Pot and set it to "Sauté". Once hot, work in batches to sear the beef. Place the meat on a plate once browned; set aside.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the Instant Pot and sauté the onions and celery (if using) until softened. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Add the beef back along with the celeriac puree (if using), carrots, pepper, tomatoes, barley, broth, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir together, place the lid on the Instant Pot, and set the valve to the "seal" position. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes with a 15 minutes natural release followed by a quick release. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf, test for flavor and adjust as needed, and add the kale (stirring until softened and bright green) before serving hot.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes

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