Warm-up during those cold winter months with this delicious and easy to make traditional beef and barley soup recipe. Beef and barley is a fantastic hearty soup jam-packed with meat, root veggies, and barley. It is a derivative of scotch broth which is classically made with lamb, and in some cases is all vegetarian, instead of beef. Beef and barley have been around since the 18th century and essentially was created based on the availability of the product, like many recipes that come from that era. Ingredients for this recipe: • 8 ounces roughly chopped bacon • 2 cubed beef stew meat • 2 tablespoons olive oil, optional • 2 peeled small diced yellow onions • 3 thinly sliced leeks • 4 finely minced garlic cloves • 3 peeled medium diced carrots • 3 medium diced celery stalks • 1 peeled medium diced parsnip • 1 peeled medium diced turnip • 2 bay leaves • 12 cups beef stock • 2 cups pearl barley • cup chopped parsley • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme • sea salt and salt and pepper to taste Serves 12 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours Procedures: 1. In a large pot over medium heat, add in the bacon and cook until crisp and brown, about 8-10 minutes. 2. Remove the bacon lardons and set aside and add the cubed beef into the pot and turn the heat up slightly to medium-high and cook until the beef is browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. 3. Take the beef out and set it to the side. 4. If there is not enough rendered bacon or meat fat in the pot then add in the optional olive oil and over low heat caramelize the onions and leeks for 30-35 minutes or until they are well browned. Stir occasionally. 5. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes before adding back in the beef, bacon, carrots, celery, parsnips, turnips, bay leaves, and beef stock and cook over low to medium heat for 60 minutes or until the vegetables and beef are tender. 6. Pour in the barley, give it a stir, and cook for 30-35 minutes over low to medium heat for 30-35 minutes or until the barley is cooked. 7. Finish with herbs, salt, and pepper, and serve. Chef Notes: How to Store: Place covered in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating. How to Reheat: Add the desired amount to a small saucepot and cook over low heat until hot. You can also reheat in the microwave until hot. Washing the barley is optional, I prefer not to. If the beef stock is not available you can use chicken stock or even water. You do not have to use fresh herbs at the end, however, if using dry herbs, add them in when you add in the beef stock. .