I am about as under the weather as can be. I can not even drink coffee. Yes. I know – THE HORROR!
And I just got off the Phone with Jeff who is also about as unamused to be alive today as I am. He informed me (more like whined to me for a while and then told me) he was making soup – which made me very jealous as I am in Chicago far away from said soup and he makes some good soup. Ahem. There better be some left over for me tomorrow… Tho it got me thinking of one of my favorite soups to make on cold dreary hang out in bed and watch Chuck reruns or Princess Bride days. It is quick, tasty and spicy – sure enough to scare away the sniffies. Especially if you add my secret ingredient.
Gather the following:
1# of lean beef – ground
1 onion diced
3 carrots diced
3 celery diced
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 t fresh thyme (about 1/3 if using dried)
2 cups diced tomatoes or 1 15 oz can diced with juices
4 C beef broth
1/2 C barley
1 7.75 oz can super secret El Pato Mexican hot style tomato sauce (Oh noes the SECRET IS OUT!)
Salt and pepper to taste
The tough part:
Cook up the beef in a large stock pot. Add the carrots, onion and celery and cook till you are happy. Or till the onions are happy, which ever happens first. Add the garlic and cook till golden. Then add the bay leaf, thyme (if dried. If fresh – wait till about the last 20 minutes of cooking), tomatoes, broth, el pato super duper secret tomato sauce and barley. Cook about 45 minutes to an hour or until barley is done to your liking. I hate mushy barley so I tend to lean on the short time side. Taste. Salt and pepper… taste again? You like? Serve it up with a light topping of your favorite cheese. The el Pato sauce is one of my “go too’s”. I add it to my world famous lasagna, chicken soup, just about anything to throw in some tasty kick. It has a wonderful flavor and a touch of heat and is just perfect when you don’t have a steady supply of fresh chilies because it is freaking winter…
I like to top this soup with some fresh shredded Parmesan or Mexican queso fresco cheese. Oh yea… you know you will be feeling reallllllll good in just about 3… 2… 1… Ah!
The el Pato sauce is found in most grocery stores in the Mexican section, not the tomato section. That is how I have hid from you all these years btw ha ha!
But really. Serious. Try it.