I Love Winter: Beef Barley Soup and 5MAD Bread

5 MAD Bread

It’s been chilly in our little cottage! And hearts have been a bit bouncy and a bit droopy on the emotional map, so I thought it was time to cozy up the place with a pot of steamy beef barley soup and homemade bread.

The bread is easier than the soup, and the soup is really easy.

The Bread

My friend, Bethany, taught me about 5MAD bread.

I thought she wrote SMAD bread, and figured it had something to do with pounding and kneading when the Mama is s’mad (so mad!) she best make bread.

But, quite the contrary, no kneading, no pounding, just gentle stirring and forming, just like a calm mama should do.

Bread Dough Rising

With the bread dough rising (I’m telling ya, it’s SO easy!), I got the soup started.

Here’s the recipe I use, I call it:

Whatever I Remember to Put In It Beef Barley Soup

First, toss a pound of stew meat in a big pot on medium high with a TBS of oil. Sprinkle with flour and stir a bit.

Chop onions (I used 3), toss in pot and stir.

Chop carrots (I used about 10-12 baby carrots), toss in pot and stir.

Pour a cup of broth, water, or red wine into the pot, and scrape up the yummy bits on the bottom.

Add about 5 cups beef broth, or water and bouillon, or water and a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of Au Jus from a Little Jug.

(That’s what I call it anyway. I’ll look at the brand when I stand up and hopefully before I forget and post this. If I forget, just drop me a note and I’ll stand up just for you. Smile )

Oh yah, and I tossed in about 6 sliced mushrooms, too.

Then a cup of pearled barley (not the quick kind).

Beef Barley Soup Begins

Let it simmer at least an hour or two (I have it going on low all day), until it’s steamy hot and the barley is just right for you. (Some like it more chewy than others.)

Steamy Hot Beef Barley Soup

Add your favorite seasonings, and that’s dinner!

Oh Wait! The Bread!

5 MAD Bread

It’s been rising all afternoon. That’s ok, too! Really, it’s hard to mess up this recipe.  Time to plop a loaf in the oven.

If you have leftovers of the bread (we rarely do, but it’s so easy to make another loaf!), you can make Our* Favorite Lunch.

Or make another loaf to have with leftover soup for Tomorrow’s-Gonna-B-b-b-b-be-Chilly-Toooooo Lunch.

Beef Barley Soup

And that, my friend, is another way we can learn, love and serve at home.

Sometimes, our hearts need to be at home.

Just simply – and comfortingly – at home.

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