Beef & Vegetable Soup
1/3 cup pearl barley, soaked overnight
5 cups beef stock
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
8 oz/225 g lean rump or sirloin steak trimmed and cut into strips
1 large carrot, diced
1 leek, shredded
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Crusty bread, to serve
Place the pearl barley in a large, heavy-bottom pan. Pour the stock over and add the mixed herbs, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, then cover and simmer gently over low heat for 10 minutes.
Skim away any scum that has risen to the top of the stock with a flat spoon. Add the steak, carrot, leek, onion, and celery to the pan. Return to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 1 hour, or until the barley, meat, and vegetables are just tender.
Skim away any remaining scum that has risen to the top of the soup with a flat ladle. Blot the surface with paper towels to remove any fat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warmed soup bowls and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve piping hot with crusty bread.