Friday, October 9, 2009
Papa Johns Soup?
The other day, my mother mentioned she felt like having my Beef or Mushroom Barley Soup. Whenever mom brings up soup, I always think about my Papa John ( my grandfather on my mothers side) as he always made the BEST soups. He was a great cook for an Irishman. I would like to think mine is as good as his. Not knowing what I felt like cooking this morning, I contemplated going to the market and purchasing the ingredients I did not have on hand. Wanting to please people is why we become chefs....so I made the soup. I decided to make both...Mushroom Beef Barley soup. It was quick and easy and really is delicious.Being a chef I rarely measure things when I am cooking at home. So I will try my best to create some sort of recipe for you. I started with carrots, celery and onion otherwise known as Mire Poix. Beef stock is best, but I hadnt made any so I used some beef base to make my broth. I used portabello, baby bello, and dried wild mushrooms that I reconstituted. I saved the water after the mushrooms were rehydrated and added that to the beef broth. I bought some bottom round cut beef (for pepper steak it said on the package...but pretty much any inexpensive beef is good). Salt, Pepper and dried thyme were the only other ingredients. I know my knife skills are better than most people not in the culinary field, so my prep time is short. It only took me about 30 min start to finish and a couple hours to cook. I bought some nice ciabatta sticks at the supermarket bakery and threw them in the oven with some shredded asiago cheese until it was melted. mmmmmmm yummy. Asiago is one of my favorite cheeses, its sharp but smooth and I love it on bread.
I served mom her soup, she mm mmm mmm'ed, told me it was delicious....and teasingly I said Yes I know! I did say thank you too. It was really good and I made so much I have 3 containers to freeze, but thats what I do. Prepare alot for future use!! Easy to pull out a container with 2 or 3 servings for a late nite quick supper!! I would hope that I would have made my Papa John proud.....there were a few things that he made that I couldnt live without and fortunately I believe I may have replicated them well. Thanks Papa John!!
Recipe for Papa Johns Beef/Mushroom Barley Soup
1 med onion small dice
2 stalks of celery small dice
3-4 carrots small diced
4 qts beef stock or broth
1 cup pearl barley
1 lb fresh mushrooms ( any kind you like) chopped
1 cup dried mushrooms
1/2 lb of small diced beef
Soak dried mushrooms in 2 cups of water for 15-30 while preparing the rest of the soup.
In large pot - saute onion carrots and celery in 1 TBS olive oil. Just to sweat them. Add your beef stock to the veggies.
In saute pan, brown diced beef that has been seasoned with salt and pepper. Do not drain and add to soup. Using the same saute pan- add 1 TBS butter and 1 tsp of olive oil to cook down the mushrooms. Cook until soft and browned. Add to soup. Drain rehydrated mushrooms, reserve liquid for soup. Do not use all of it...there will be some sand and dirt in the bottom of the bowl. Chop the rehydrated mushrooms and add to the soup. Salt and Pepper to taste. Add 1/4 tsp of dried Thyme. Bring soup to a boil and add the barley. Lower heat and simmer. Barley takes a long time to cook. A soft simmer is best.
The longer you cook the soup, the more flavor there will be. I hope you try it and like it. May all your bites be tasty!