Beef Barley Stew

Some might say it’s too late in the year for soup. I say, who cares? This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit October 1999 and theoretically makes eight servings. I got 12.

3 T olive oil
1 1/2 lbs assorted fresh mushrooms (I used crimmini and shitake)
4 small onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped (I totally forgot to add these, heresy!)
3 1/2 lb beef, cubed to whatever size you prefer
8 C beef broth
4 C water
2 large parsnips, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
12 oz pearl barley
14 oz crushed tomatoes with puree
3 T whatever spices make you happy (I used tarragon, rosemary and something else I forget)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onions. Sauté until mushrooms brown. Add celery and garlic and stir 1 minute. Add beef and all remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat.