Beef Barley and Mushroom Soup
1 cup barley, cooked according to package instructions – $1.59
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided – stock
2 lbs. boneless beef Chuck steak, cut into small chunks – $8.70
the juice of 1 large orange (1/3 cup) – $0.50
2 cups diced carrots – $0.99
1½ cups diced celery – $0.99
2 cups chopped leeks, the white and pale green parts – $1.50
1 medium Vidalia onion, diced – $0.89
½ lb. baby portabella mushrooms, sliced – $1.29
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme – $0.99
2 Bay leaves – stock
10 cups beef stock or low-sodium beef broth – $5.00
Grand Total Assuming a Well-Stocked Pantry: $22.44
Total Per Serving: $2.24
1. Prepare the barley according to package directions and set aside.
2. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high flame. Add the beef chunks, season with salt and pepper and brown the meat on all sides, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the squeezed orange juice and continue cooking 5 minutes.
4. Transfer the meat and all of the juices to a large bowl.
5. In the same pot, heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil over medium-high flame. Add all of the chopped and sliced veggies and sauté for about 20 minutes and beginning to turn golden.
6. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil. Lower the flame; add the fresh time and simmer the soup, partly covered, for 1 hour. Skim off any fat.
7. Add the cooked barley and simmer an additional 20 minutes until the barley has softened. Correct the seasonings and serve piping hot along with a crusty loaf of French bread and a tossed salad, if desired.