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Mexican Sliced Steak and Barley Soup

Tender marinated steak gives body to a Mexican mix of herbs and veggies for this hearty soup.


For the marinade and steak:

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh chili pepper, such as Fresno or jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
  • 1/4 red onion, minced or grated
  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper

Barley soup base:

  • Salt
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil ( EVOO), plus extra for drizzling
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped
  • 2 chili peppers, such as Fresno or jalepeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes (32 ounces)
  • A handful of fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped
  • Lime wedges, Worcestershire and hot sauce, to pass at table


For the marinade and steak:

Combine the cilantro, Worcestershire, garlic, chili peppers, lime juice, marjoram and onion in a bag. Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper and add to the bag. Release air and seal the bag, then refrigerate. Marinate up to 2 hours.

To prepare, bring the steak to room temperature. Heat a grill pan to medium-high, shake off the excess marinade and cook the steak for a few minutes on each side. Thinly slice and set aside.

For the soup:

Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt the water and cook the barley to tender, but al dente, about 20 minutes. Drain and drizzle with a touch of oil. Store in a plastic container until the night you serve the soup.

In a soup pot, heat the 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, celery, chili peppers, onions and bell peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften the veggies, 8-10 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes and cilantro, and simmer to combine the flavors, about 20 minutes. Cool, cover and store for a make-ahead meal.

To serve, heat the soup to a low boil. Add the barley and heat through. Serve the soup in shallow bowls and add the sliced skirt steak. Pass the lime wedges, Worcestershire and hot sauce for topping.

Rachael Ray