2.5 lbs. beef chuck (pot roast), cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 8-oz. package sliced button mushrooms
5 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1.5 lbs. mini Klondike or Yukon Gold potatoes, halved or cut into large dice
14.5 oz. can diced roasted tomatoes
Two 32-oz. boxes of beef broth
4 cups water
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. caraway seeds
2 tsp. marjoram (or 1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves)
2 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tsp. dried thyme (or 2 sprigs fresh)
1 tsp. black pepper
3 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup pearled barley
*Optional: 1/4 cup marsala wine added when the carrots and potatoes go in. I didn't use this ingredient in the recipe, but I think it would really add to the flavor of the soup.
1. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large heavy pot (I like to use enameled cast iron) over medium heat and add the chopped onions. Stir frequently until lightly browned and season with a little salt and pepper. Add the chopped garlic and stir to combine.
2. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper and add to the onions and garlic in the pot; brown on all sides.
3. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook 1-2 minutes or until softened; stir in the bay leaf, caraway seeds, marjoram, parsley, thyme, black pepper and salt. Add the canned tomatoes and cider vinegar.
4. Pour in the beef broth and 4 cups of water and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 45 minutes.
5. Add the diced carrots, potatoes and pearled barley, and cook another 45 minutes at a simmer, partially covered.
6. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, before serving.