Hearty, smokey and satisfying, Beef and Barley Soup with Andouille Sausage is the ultimate winter weeknight soup. Loaded with deep, beefy flavor with a bit of spicy heat, this soup is ready in about 30 minutes but tastes like it simmered for hours.
Happy New Year….this is the first official new recipe of 2016 so I thought I’d really hit for the fences and give you something hearty, comforting and healthy. We had a small gathering of about 7 people….four of whom actually live in this house…on New Year’s Eve. Only one of us made it to midnight (that would be me…I was tackling the mountain of dishes in the sink) and, as usual, we had a fridge full of leftovers the next day. BUT I couldn’t dive into them just yet because I had to braise my famous pork shoulder so we can be filled with good luck this year. I’m superstitious like that….pork and sauerkraut every single January 1st. And you better believe it works because this one year…I didn’t eat pork OR sauerkraut and the whole year went to crap. I’m not even kidding. So, don’t tempt fate or karma or whatever the heck it is…ever. It’s a fickle b!tch.
So…on January 2nd, I tackled the leftovers and lucky for me we had a fridge full of yumminess that was begging to be a comforting soup. Beef tenderloin, andouille sausage, beef stock (we had fondue…in case you were wondering), carrots, onions and a brand, spanking new bag of barley from Bob’s Red Mill. (Thanks, Bob!) I decided we needed something hearty and healthy to recover from the gluttonous weeks leading up to the New Year. But, as usual, it had to be busting at the seams with flavor. And easy.
That’s when Beef and Barley Soup with Andouille Sausage was born. It really was so easy to make and don’t fear the fancy beef tenderloin…you don’t need more than a pound. If you use a less expensive cut, you’ll just have to be sure and let it simmer a little longer so it has a chance to become tender. The andouille sausage I used were cocktail size, you won’t need more than a couple ounces. Save the rest for this paella or these stuffed peppers later in the week if you had to buy more than you need. I love the smokiness that the andouille gives the soup with the perfect amount of spice. Not too hot but a lingering heat right at the back of your tongue….it’s an unexpected flavor that everyone just loved. Even my daughter who whines whenever I make something spicy…or mushrooms….or tomato sauce. Yep, some picky people live here.
I was able to whip up the soup in about 40 minutes total but be warned…if you make it in advance, you may need to add some additional stock before serving because that barley is thirsty! It soaks up all the stock the longer it sits. So, the recipe calls for 5 cups initially but have a couple cups on reserve if you’re not going to eat it all right away. Beef and Barley Soup with Andouille Sausage is the perfect comfort food for a cold winter night…like tonight….like the temp went from 75 last week to 7 today. 7 degrees. I finally got to wear my puffer coat….and I’m over it. Time for spring!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound beef tenderloin cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup diced vidalia onion
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1/2 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup diced andouille sausage
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 cups beef stock (plus more if needed)
- 1/2 cup pearl barley (I used Bob's Red Mill)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, plus more to taste
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beef to the pot and brown on all sides working in batches, if necessary. (Do not crowd the pan of the beef will steam.) Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef from the pot and drain off all but two tablespoons of fat. Return the pot to the heat and add the onions. Cook until the onions begin to soften. Stir in the celery and carrot, continuing to cook until softened, approximately 4-5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minutes. Add the thyme and bay leaf to the pot. Stir in the beef stock and barley. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir in the salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until the barley is softened. Serve immediately.