When the first snow falls, my inner cook wants to make this family favorite. Vegans, vegetarians, don't despair: I worked through an adaptation with my vegetable daughter recently, notes below at Step 7A.
Beef and Barley Soup
3 lbs short ribs (use more if you like a meatier soup)
3 turnips (or parsnips or combo of both)
1 large cipolline onion (or 3 small or substitute another sweet onion)
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup capellini beans (or other white bean, soaked overnight)
1 cup barley
1 strip of Kombu (or other seaweed - this is critical if making the veg version)
Salt and pepper as desired
1. Trim as much fat as possible from short ribs. Reserve a small portion of fat, cut into very thin slices, and use to grease bottom of large stock pot. Add a little olive oil to make sure the whole bottom of pan is coated and that you're not increasing your cholesterol intake unreasonably (just reasonably).
2. Add crushed garlic and cook for a minute or two, until the kitchen smells great.
3. Add short ribs and sear on all sides (about 10 minutes, turning side to side).
4. Dice all veggies while searing meat.
5. Cover meat with about 12 cups of water. If it doesn't look like enough, add more. Add salt.
6. Bring to boil and skim (before pot boils over, a delicate moment).
7. Add veggies, beans, barley, bay leaf, Kombu strip, and other herbs (dried or fresh if you have them, your choice).
7A. If making veggie version, add a can of tomatoes (also OK for meat version), another strip of Kombu, and four more cloves of whole garlic, slightly crushed.
8. Simmer for three hours.
9. Correct seasoning.
Serve with salad and crusty bread. And say thanks again to my mother, Ethel, the queen of this soup.