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Cool recipe alert: Beef barley soup

Senior residents at Phoebe Terrace in Allentown, Pa., got a winter warmup with a twist—they were tasked with judging a lineup of winter soups by the Cura chefs who serve the community through all the seasons. The winner was this hearty, down-home, classic beef barley soup by Mike Vargo, Cura foodservice director at Phoebe Terrace.

YIELD: 8 servings

2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 lb. beef chuck, cut into 1” cubes
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, ½” dice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (14.5 oz.) cans low-sodium beef broth
1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup pearl barley
1 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown beef, turning often, 4-6 minutes. When browned, transfer to side dish.
2. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, 4-6 minutes.
3. Add all remaining ingredients except barley and parsley. Bring to rolling boil, then a steady simmer for 45 minutes.
4. Add barley and cook another 15-20 minutes, until barley is tender. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Photo and recipe: Cura

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