One of the benefits of having steak at dinnertime is that there is usually some meat leftover to make beef, barley, and mushroom soup – this time with carrots, onions, and beet greens.
I make this on “doctor days” because I can put the barley in the Nissan Thermos container with some boiling water, and when we get home, it has soaked up to perfection. This works out perfectly, and the consistency is so much better than boiling it until it is tender. Three quarters of a cup of dry barley turns into almost three cups of cooked grain. It is really a wonderful food. It’s filling, very nutritious, and goes well in soups of many varieties, soaking up the flavors from the other ingredients.
To make the soup, I just sauté some onions, carrots, and lots of mushrooms and add bone broth and the leftover steak bits. Sometimes I do celery in there, too, but today it was late, and we were so hungry that I cut that corner and left it out. There’s a sprinkling of my ever-present Montreal Steak Seasoning, of course, and a smidge of Cajun seasoning. But this was so flavorful that not much else was needed. A quick dusting of grated Parmesan added a taste treat, too.
A new find for us is the tomato pesto that you see in the jar above. I tried this out a while ago, so this is our second jar. It runs $5. a jar, but is so very flavorful, not much is needed. You can see it spread on my jalapeño pepper cheese whole wheat toast above, and it was a delightful addition to the soup and salad. I’ve put it into shaped pastas, too, when serving it as a side dish. It’s good mixed with the pasta and some kind of “greenery”, like spinach, asparagus or broccoli, chopped black olives, and a dusting of Parmesan, Asiago, or mini-chunks of Feta (my favorite). As a side dish, it is good either hot or at room temperature.
If you see the pesto in your grocery store, give it a whirl. You’ll probably think of more ways to use it, and can pass the information along, yes?