1 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks plus the centre leaves from the celery bunch, chopped
2 large carrots peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 cup of chopped crimini mushrooms
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp marmite (or 1 cube of beef bovril / oxo)
4 or 5 dashes of worchestershire sauce
2 tbsp flour
2 litres of beef stock
3/4 cup pearl barley
1 lb of good quality beef
(I used 2 thick rib steaks for this, chopped into half inch cubes and threw the bones into the pot for flavour)
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter and oil over medium high heat and toss beef cubes and bones into the pot. Fry the meat until it starts to brown then add the marmite and worchestershire sauce. Continue to cook and stir often until the juices from the beef (there will be quite a bit) are mostly evaporated.
Add flour, stir and cook for 2 or so minutes and add your stock, barley and salt and pepper if needed.
Simmer on low for an hour, stirring every now and then.
Remove the bay leaves, rosemary stalk and beef bones (if you used them) and enjoy hot with crusty bread.
Note: If you prefer a thicker, creamier soup, like I do, you can pulse the soup a few times with an immersion blender until semi-smooth.