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Mexican Sliced Steak and Barley Soup

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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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 chile, such as Fresno or jalapeno, 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

Kosher salt and coarse black pepper 

Barley Soup Base:


1 cup pearled barley

2 tablespoons EVOO, plus extra for drizzling

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

2 chile 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

One 32-ounce can stewed tomatoes

A handful of fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, chopped

Lime wedges, Worcestershire and hot sauce, to pass at table


  1. For the marinade and steak: Combine the cilantro, Worcestershire, garlic, chiles, lime juice, marjoram and onions 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. 
  2. To prepare, bring the steak to room temp, heat a grill pan to medium-high, shake off excess marinade and cook the steak for a few minutes on each side. Thinly slice and set aside. 
  3. 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. 
  4. In a soup pot, heat the 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, celery, chile peppers, onions and bell peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften the veggies, 8 to 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. 
  5. 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.

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