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Beef and Barley Soup

4 Tbs    Olive oil  
1 cup    Onion, chopped  
1 lb    Beef stew meat  
2 Tbs    Hungarian paprika  
2 tsp    Thyme  
4   Bay leaves  
8 cups    Beef broth  
4   Carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick  
1-1/3 cups    Barley  
  Salt and freshly ground black pepper  
1 Heat oil in pan. Add onion and beef cubes and brown over medium heat about 5 minutes.
2 Stir in paprika and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
3 Stir in thyme, bay leaf and beef broth. Bring to boil.
4 Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, about one hour.
5 Add carrot slices and barley.
6 Cover and simmer until barley is very tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
7 Season to taste with salt and pepper.
8 Remove bay leaves before serving.