Beef, Mushroom, Barley and Swiss Chard Soup

Beef, Mushroom, Barley and Swiss Chard Soup

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3 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs. lean beef, cut into bite size cubes

1 1/2 lbs. cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

1 leek, sliced , white part only

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion , diced

3 carrots, peeled, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 cup red wine

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small dice

2/3 cup pearl barley

2 quarts quality beef stock

2 bunches Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped

1 tablespoon sea salt

black pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot heat olive oil. Lightly flour the beef cubes ; in small quantities , brown in heated oil. Do not over crowd meat when browning. Remove the meat. Add the leeks, onion, garlic, celery and carrots . Saute until onions begin to soften. Return the browned meat back to the pot . Add the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any bites on the bottom of the pot. Add the stock along with the potatoes, thyme sprigs, and pearl barley. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 1 hour. Add the sea salt,sliced mushrooms and the chopped Swiss chard to the pot. Cover and simmer for 30 more minutes. Adjust salt and pepper, if needed. Enjoy!

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