You know last week when I said it was hot in Kansas? Fail. It got chilly again. Why, why, whhaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy ????! Bright side: chilly weather = cozy food. Like this delicious stew! This stew is super flavorful, comforting, hearty, and deee-licious.
Have you ever cooked with barley before? If you haven’t, you really, really need to try it. It is SO good in stews like this. I’m not sure how to describe the texture…it is kind of like brown rice, but it is a bit chewier – it has more of a bite to it. That makes it sound unappetizing, but I promise you that it is absolutely fantastic. Just try it. Okay? Okay??? Cool.
It has the exact same cooking process that brown rice does. Bring water to a boil, add barley, simmer for forty five minutes. Yum.
The rest of the stew is super simple, too. Brown sausage, add veggies, add beef stock, simmer, add some other goodness (more on that later), stir in barley, eat, and think, “Yep. I’m awesome.”
So, that other goodness. There are a couple of tricks we utilize here to make this stew extra, extra, extra special and perfect.
- Lemon juice. I rarely make a soup that doesn’t end with a tablespoon or two of lemon juice. It is an amazing trick for soups and stews. You don’t even taste the lemon flavor; it just adds a note of something that you didn’t even know you needed until you had it. Does that make sense? It will once you do it…shhh…it will.
- Soy sauce. I’m not even sure how to explain this one. It is a great trick in beef stews and soups, so I used it here since we use beef stock as our liquid. It just adds some depth and complexity of flavor. Again…try it! You’ll see what I mean.
- Cornstarch. This thickens your stew into a luxurious, wonderful consistency. If I am eating something labeled stew, I like for it to be a little thicker. The cornstarch achieves this for you, and it is so cool. I don’t even know how cornstarch works, but it thickens stuff liiiiike a champ.
You may or may not be thinking, “Wow, Annie. You have now gotten through two entire recipes without using any kale. Well done, well done.” I will tell you, friends, you are partially right. Kale is not included in this recipe, nor was it in these BOSS brussels sprouts that I posted on Monday.
BUT – wanna know something funny? I needed something green to garnish the top of this stew with. I could have sworn that I had some parsley or basil laying around, but I didn’t. So guess what I ended up using?
That’s right, people. Kaaalllleeeee. Chopped up raw kale. I was giggling to myself while doing this. So I didn’t quiiiiite make it multiple posts without using it, even if it isn’t in the actual recipe. It’s just there to look purty. P.S. There isn’t a kale emoji. Or even a lettuce one, for that matter. Whatup iPhone? Get on it. If I start a petition, will you sign it? It will be my summer project. Doneskies.
You guys must, must make this stew. I have fed it to four different people since originally creating this recipe, and they all loved it. It’s a crowd pleaser. Just do it. DO IT.
On another note, I was about to say “Happy Friday!” because today feels soooooo hardcore like a Friday to me. In fact, every single day this week has felt like Friday. And then I’m like oooh wait…hello, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday. You’re not Friday.
This must be what happens to people when two things combine: the last week of school and the last few weeks of your husband’s deployment…struuuugggggggg…#strug.
So, instead of saying happy Friday, I’ll say happy Wednesday!!! Now go make some stew.
For you 21 Day Fix people, here are your container amounts:
- 1 yellow container (barley)
- 1 1/4 red container (sausage and beef broth)
- 1 green container (carrots, onion, celery)
- 1 teaspoon (olive oil)
*The garlic, soy sauce, lemon juice, and corn starch are “free”*
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- 2 cups COOKED barley (takes about 45 mins to cook - follow package instructions)
- 1 pound Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- 4 cups of beef stock
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (to taste - I used 2)
- 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch (depending on thickness preference - I used 2)
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- Cook your barley
- Meanwhile, heat your olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat
- Remove the casings from the turkey sausage, add to your pot, season with salt and pepper, and break up with a wooden spoon. Stir occasionally, further breaking up the pieces with a spoon, until browned
- Add your onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in with the turkey sausage - season with salt and pepper
- Cook for a few minutes until vegetables have softened a bit - add a splash of beef stock to deglaze the pot if it gets too dry
- Add your pepper flakes and beef stock
- Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer
- Simmer for 30 mins
- When the soup is done cooking, stir in your barley, soy sauce, and lemon juice*
- In a small bowl, combine your cornstarch and enough cool water to make the mixture about the consistency of milk. Whisk thoroughly
- Stir your cornstarch slurry into your soup and let simmer for a bit until it has thickened (it takes less than a minute)*
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve!
*The amount of lemon juice you add is up to your preference. Start with 1 tablespoon and add another if you want more. I add both tablespoons because I like the note of brightness it brings. Same thing with the cornstarch – whether you add 1 or 2 tablespoons will depend on how thick you like your stews. I like mine thick, so I added both tablespoons. Start with 1, and if you want it to be thicker, add the second! (If you add the second tablespoon, make sure you make a slurry with that, too, rather than just adding the powder directly into the hot stew.)*
*Each serving size is two cups – this is a lot of food! You might need to alter your container amounts a bit if you can’t eat the whole two-cup serving. Some days, if I was really hungry, I finished the whole thing. Other days I wasn’t able to.*
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more cozy stew/soup recipes? Check these out: