Soup’s on! In honor of National Soup Month, Chef Evan Blomgren of the Rocky Hill Inn was on board at the Princeton Public Library to help celebrate by cooking up a satisfying and delicious beef barley soup made with fresh winter vegetables. The library’s food series Flavors of Princeton is a hit with the community, and this demo was standing room only.
Blomgren heated a large pot, and once warm poured in extra virgin olive oil. He cubed a flatiron steak, added it to the pot, and seasoned it with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. After browning it for five minutes, he incorporated all the small dice root vegetables and thyme, then seasoned it to taste with salt and pepper. After five minutes the chef poured in beef broth and sherry, brought it to a boil, and a minute later added the barley. It simmered for 30-45 minutes (list of ingredients below).
While it was cooking, Chef Blomgren answered lots of questions, like the difference between stock and broth. The former is made with bones and meat, and the latter with just meat. After the Q & A, he gave us all samples of the soup, which was delicious because of all of the layers of flavors thanks to the veggies.
The Rocky Hill chef-owner worked at Lahiere’s and Chamber’s Walk in his early days, and has now created his signature style with his Gastropub in Rocky Hill. The Rocky Hill Inn was voted for having the best burger in the area (RHI Burger), but he’s added other varieties since the honor. My favorite dishes are the seared diver scallops, Griggstown Farm chicken, and his risottos, but I think I’ll finally try one of his burgers at my next visit!
Beef and Barley with Winter Vegetables Ingredient List
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. flatiron steak cubed
1/2 cup parsnip (small dice)
1/2 cup turnip (small dice)
1/2 sweet potato (small dice)
1/2 carrots (small dice)
1/2 cup celery (small dice)
1/2 cup Spanish onion (small dice)
1 cup barley
1 cup sherry
3 quarts beef broth