VEGETABLE BEEF SOUP WITH BARLEY
2 or 3 1-inch thick beef shank sections (1.5 to 2 lbs)
2 small cans mushrooms
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
6-8 cups vegetable broth/stock
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup tomato puree
tarragon, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper to taste
Trim the meat from the bones, and then cut it into small cubes. Brown it in a large skillet or in the bottom of a dutch oven. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until onions are starting to toast. Add 6 cups stock. Add mixed vegetables, tomato puree and seasonings.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat and simmer for an hour, adding water as necessary to have enough stock. Add barley, simmer for another hour.
Hint: adding the barley about an hour before the finish keeps it from becoming too mushy.