Well, it's spring time and it's warm out. We've been sleeping with our windows open and ceiling fans on. Woo hoo! Unfortunately, that means that my favorite winter food - SOUP - is no longer as appealing. Good thing is that over the last several months I have perfected my version of Beef, Barley & Vegetable Soup. It is, shall we say....scrumptious. The day after I made it the last time, I ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know...but it's SO good. Brad is not really a soup guy. In fact, he told me this early on - probably because I always talked about soup and how much I love it. After finding this out, I made it my mission to find at least ONE soup that he would eat - and enjoy. Well, mission accomplished. Here it is. :) You can find the original recipe here at my favorite recipe site: allrecipes.com. Brad and I prefer a heartier soup with more meat and veggies and less watery broth, so we "beefed" it up a bit. (Pun intended - sorry.) Mine is a little thicker - probably more like a stew. Below is my version of this amazing one-pot meal. :)
Note: I am the kind of cook that doesn't necessarily follow recipes well - I just toss things in that happen to be in my fridge or spice cabinet. Below is a rough guesstimate of what I do.
Beef, Barley & Vegetable Soup
-6 large celery stalks, chopped
-6 large carrots, chopped
-1 large onion, chopped
- 3-4lbs. stew meat (or cut up roast...your preference)
-2 T butter or olive oil
-2 cups beef broth
-1 cup tomato juice
-2 cups water
-1 (15 oz) can of diced tomatoes
-1/2 bag of frozen peas or 2 cans of green beans (whatever I have on hand)
-2 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. pepper
-2 tsp. garlic powder
-2 tsp. italian seasoning (the original recipe calls for basil, oregano, etc. I just save some time with one bottle)
-1 cup quick cooking barley
- In a stock pot, combine celery, carrots, onion, beef and butter/olive oil. Saute until veggies are tender and beef is mostly cooked through.
- Add in the rest of the ingredients except the barley. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the barley and wait about 15 minutes until soft.
- If the soup is not as thick as I like, sometimes I add in a tablespoon or so of flour.
- The longer you wait to eat the soup, the better it tastes - flavors really come out the next day.
P.S. I got this dish scrubber from my sweet, sweet mother-in-law for one of my bridal showers. I use it all the time! It was so cute and it used to have a little lady's face on it. Based off this picture, raise your hand if you think I've done a few too many dishes. (Hand silently raised...)