The crockpot has gotten quite the workout this week, what with the drizzle and cold and generally yucky weather. Now they are forecasting flurries. Snow in October?? Please, no. There is no way I should be hearing the words “snow” in a forecast when I still have summer beach towels waiting to be washed. (Ick) Maybe I ought to blog less, and launder more? Never!
Soup it is! With plenty of leftover pot roast in the fridge, I was psyched to stumble across this long-forgotten recipe that I love. This is a hearty beef and barley soup with a little twist – a bit of spaghetti sauce in the base to make it thick and rich. It’s also chock full of veggies. A piece of soft, crusty bread is great for sopping up the rich broth. We had it with ciabatta bread and we all left the table stuffed. If you prefer your soup simpler, you can leave out the canned tomatoes and green pepper and let the meat and barley be the stars (something my kids prefer). It is great both ways — a hearty, flavorful soup that cooks nicely throughout the day in the crockpot without requiring any attention.
Any leftover beef will do — steak, roast beef, pot roast, or start with fresh stew beef (about 1.5 pounds) and brown in a little oil prior to putting in the crockpot. Enjoy!
Hearty Beef and Barley Soup
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes
2 cups leftover pot roast
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped green pepper
4 cups beef broth
1 – 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup spaghetti sauce
2/3 cup pearl barley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cut pot roast into small bite-sized pieces. Add to crockpot. Add the remaining ingredients (carrots through black pepper). Stir to combine. Cover. Cook on low setting 9-10 hours, or high setting 5 hours. Adjusted seasoning as necessary. Serve and enjoy.