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Hearty Oxtail and Barley Soup

Ingredients


1 - 2 lbs disjointed oxtails

2 - 2 tbsp olive oil

3 - 1 cup barley

4 - 2 quarts cold water

5 - 3 cloves garlic, minced

6 - 1 large onion

7 - 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced

8 - 2 celery stalks, sliced thinly

9 - 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

10 - 1 bay leaf

11 - 1 1/2 tsp salt

12 - 1/2 tsp pepper

13 - 2 tbsp ketchup (optional)


Instructions


1 - Rinse oxtails in cold water and pat dry.


2 - In a large kettle or Dutch oven, brown oxtails over high heat in olive oil. Do not cook through- just cook until they color on the outside Add onion, garlic and carrots just as the meat begins to take on color.


3 - Stir in water, barley and oxtails. Add remaining ingredients, except parsley, salt, pepper and ketchup.


4 - Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 2 hours. Add salt and pepper, to taste. If you prefer a sweeter taste, add ketchup, if desired, or a few coarsely chopped extra-ripe fresh tomatoes, when in season.


5 - Continue to simmer for another hour or so, or until soup has reached the thickness desired and oxtail meat is falling off the bone tender. Add beef or vegetable broth if soup becomes too thick.


6 - Stir in parsley during final 20 minutes of cooking. Remove meat from bones and return it to soup. Skim off fat from top of soup. Remove bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings.