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Slow-Cooker Beef & Barley Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 lb. beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, cut into half moons
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 c. pearled barley
  • 1 qt. low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl, pat beef dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt and black pepper.
  2. Preheat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Drizzle with olive oil and sear meat on all sides until golden brown with a crust, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer meat to the slow cooker. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic, onions, carrots, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper; scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen all browned meat bits and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. If needed, add a splash of water to fully deglaze the pan; transfer to the slow cooker.
  3. Add mushrooms, barley, stock and soy sauce; cook on low for 8 hours. Meat should be very tender.
  4. Serve immediately.
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