This is a dish inspired by my great grandmother Grandma Myers, as my mother has vivid memories of grandma making her chunky barley meat soup. When I was growing up, any chunky soup was called “grandma’s soup.”

3 tablespoons oil
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 carrot, cubed
1 cup cubed butternut squash
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pound flanken on the bone
1 box mushrooms, sliced
2½ teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
1 cup barley
6-8 cups chicken stock or water

  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil. Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and squash, and saute for about 10 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add meat and brown on both sides.
  2. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until cooked through.
  3. Add salt, bay leaf, pepper, oregano, basil, and barley. Mix until spices are fragrant.
  4. Add stock or water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for 3 hours.

Yield: 8 servings

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