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Sunday Dinner: Beef barley soup

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Enjoy the calm before the storm!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means things will soon get hectic, boisterous, filling and tiring! Take time before the big event to spend some quality -- and quiet -- time with the family, before the hustle and bustle of the holiday begins!

Sunday dinner recipes: Beef and barley soup

This soup recipe, courtesy of Eating Well, is one that will fill you, warm you, and because it's so good, you won't have to worry about leftovers! Not only that, but you won't likely encounter this dish on Thanksgiving, ensuring the feast of the day is not a re-do!

Branch out and discover your family tree!

This is the perfect family activity before a holiday gathering! It's a great way to explore your family history and a good project to help explain to your kids who-is-related-to-who. Either design your own family tree poster, or use this creative idea from TLC. Putting together your family tree poster will be a fun learning experience. Try to include the relatives who will be at Thanksgiving dinner, and display the final project on Thanksgiving -- it will be a great conversation starter!

Beef and barley soup

Serves 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound stew beef, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium-size yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch coins
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely minced
  • 6 cups beef stock or low-sodium canned broth
  • 1/4 cup barley, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme
  • Parsley, for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a 6-quart soup pot, heat two teaspoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown evenly, about five minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining oil and the onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes, scraping the pot to loosen any brown bits.
  3. Add the carrots and garlic and sweat five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of stock and scrape the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining stock, the meat, barley and thyme and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer, skimming the pot occasionally, until the barley is cooked and the meat is tender, about 50 minutes.
  5. Ladle into deep bowls and serve, garnished with parsley.

Thanksgiving is almost here! While it's a super-fun and festive holiday, use Sunday dinner before the big day to relax and share time with your family on a small scale.

More Sunday dinner recipes to try

Crock pot chicken and dumplings
Baked shells and winter squash
Mexican chorizo, lentil and tomato soup
Caramel-apple pork chops

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