beef and barley leek soup

More soup? Really?

It's May. Too cold for open windows, too cold to run across the street wearing flip flops to go buy wine. This should not be happening. I need to move.


At least it's not fucking snowing.


Effortful time: 15 minutes 
Total time: 50 minutes 
Serves: 8


  • 1/2 bag Trader Joe's 10-minute quick cook barley
  • 1 Trader Joe's pre-cooked pot roast
  • 5 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 bag frozen sliced leeks
  • 32 oz. container of Pacific Natural Foods French Onion Soup (like broth but onion flavored) 
  • 1/2 tsp. Better than Bouillon, beef flavor, dissolved in 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry 
  • 1 parmesan rind (easier to find than they sound) 
  • Parsley 
  • Thyme
  • Oregano 
  • Salt + pepper 


  1. Throw the meat chunk in a decent-sized dutch oven (5qt probably) and add a little water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on low. Add the leeks and steam all of this to defrost.
  2. Open it back up and start separating the meat and leeks with a spatula. You should end up with a bunch of small pieces and shreds. Add a little oil and cook in earnest, maybe 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the sherry and deglaze, scraping up the brown burnt crust into the soup. Add the onion soup broth, a parmesan rind, herbs, and carrots. Stir the BtB into a concentrate, and add that too.
  4. Do something useful with yourself, like flossing your teeth or vacuuming the rug or ridding your drawer of off-black pairs of overwashed underwear. You've got just long enough to do one chore but not enough to take on a project.
  5. Cook the whole mess for 20 minutes — long enough for the kale to braise itself through simmering (the stems can be funky unless they're cooked enough).
  6. Add the barley and cook. 
  7. Imagine scenarios in which Rose is clinging to a leek, and Jack is slipping through its soft center crevice to his death. Use a spoon to sink both of them under a beef hunk and drown them in barley detritus so they can be together forever.
  8. Discard the flaccid rind. This is important.
  9. Season to taste and serve with a carb.