Ingredients:

2 Tbs olive oil
3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (About one 8 oz package)
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
12-16 ounces lean beef stew meat
2 cups beef broth***
water
additional sliced mushrooms – about 1 cup (optional)
1/2 cup carrots sliced into rounds
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup pearled barley
freshly ground pepper
chopped parsley for garnish

Directions:

1. Place a large Dutch Oven on the stove and heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef, onion, and garlic, cooking until lightly browned.

2. Add one cup of the beef broth to the pan, scraping the pan bottom to loosen any browned bits stuck to the bottom. Add the 3 cups sliced mushrooms, then add another cup of broth and the dried thyme. Add water to cover, and heat to a nice simmer. Cover, and keep an eye to make sure the soup does not boil. Simmer until the beef is very tender (we simmered ours for about 2 hours) adding water if necessary.

3. Stir in the barley, additional mushrooms and carrots, adding additional water or beef broth as needed for a nice soupy mixture. (As the barley cooks, you will most likely need more liquid). Cook until the barley is tender.

4. Ladle into bowls, top with freshly ground pepper and a sprinkle of parsley.

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