I revised my original beef barley soup last week. Homemade soup is an absolute must in this type of weather. It’s not really winter, but not yet Spring, and they are still talking snow storms. Blecch. Get me outta here. Or at least, get me a bowl of thick “stoup” and I’ll be alright.
Why barley? It’s a whole grain, a great source of fiber, and chock full of B-vitamins, iron, selenium, and manganese. But I love it cuz it’s nutty and, in this recipe, absorbs the rich broth to add some serious substance to my soup. It goes great with the tender bits of beef, carrots, green pepper, and celery. Lay a thick chunk of cheddar onion beer bread along side for dunking, and I’m a happy girl.
Why did I revise the original? I’m gonna come clean. My kids are not fond of tomatoes – like, they pull them out of EVERYTHING. (ok I want you to know that I mistakenly typed that as ‘EVERYTHONG’ and I was tempted to leave it, but I fixed it and now I’m telling you cuz I can’t stop laughing. Immature much?)
Back to my kids and their hang-up about tomatoes. They happily eat spaghetti sauce, Dee’s Delish Dish, pizza. All tomato-friendly dishes. However, chunks of tomato won’t get past their lips. At least not on purpose. And I’m tired of scraping those bits into the trash after dinner. So, I revised this wonderful soup, nixed the canned tomatoes, cut the rest of the veggies into a small dice, and made the beef and barley the stars. Cuz they really are. And the ‘secret ingredient’ here is a little bit of spaghetti sauce, so my kids are getting a hefty dose of vitamin C and lycopene anyway.
This is perfect for the crockpot cuz you put everything in to start, and just let it go all day. This time I used regular pearl barley rather than the quick-cooking kind, so I did soak it overnight first (in 1-1/3 cups water) so that it would be less chewy. Quick cooking barley does not require this step.
Your crockpot is calling. Give it a thrill!
Hearty Beef and Barley Soup II
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 8-10 hours
1 lb top round stew beef
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
4 cups lower sodium beef broth
2/3 cup pearl barley (drained, if you soaked them overnight)
1 cup prepared spaghetti sauce
1 and 1/2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1) Heat the canola oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Briefly brown the beef on all sides, then remove to a paper towel to drain.
2) Add the beef and the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot. Cover and cook on Low for 8-10 hours or High for 4-5 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve alongside fresh bread and a salad for a complete meal.