This time of year is when I start wanting soup all the time. The weather is colder and soup just warms you from the inside out. Plus, most soups are like a complete meal in a bowl. And a lot of them can be thrown into the crockpot and forgotten until dinner time So the mmmm for this month is my version of Beef and Barley Soup!
Beef and Barley Soup
1 lb stew meat
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
4 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup corn
6 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
28 oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups water
1 cup cooked barley (add during the last hour of cooking)
Place all ingredients (except the barley) in the crockpot. Cook on high for 6 hours. Boil the barley, following the package directions. Add the barley to the soup during the last hour of cooking time. Enjoy!
Notes from the kitchen: The order of ingredients is not really crucial but I like to have the seasonings near the meat. I like the bouillon at the bottom so it will completely dissolve. The vegetables requiring the most time to cook (carrots) go in nearer the bottom and the ones that cook faster (onions and potatoes) nearer the top. Hubby always brings home baby carrots. I chop up about 30 of them for this soup.
Don’t like tomatoes? You can totally reduce or eliminate the amount of tomatoes in this recipe. Just make sure to put an extra half cup of water for each cup of tomatoes that you eliminate. Also increase the bouillon by one cube for each extra cup of water you put in. (We include the tomatoes for the lycopene ;D)
Need to speed this recipe up? You can do this on the stovetop too. Just make sure you have a BIG pot. I suggest that you brown the meat first if you want to do this on the stovetop. Also, the smaller the carrots are, the faster they cook. So try slicing them thin or shredding them into the soup. I like my carrots a bit thicker so here’s a little trick I use: Put the carrots in a bowl. Cover them with water. Microwave them for 5 minutes. Add them to the soup. *Adjust the amount of water you add if you try this one. I suggest using 2 cups of water to cover and cook the carrots in and then just adding 2 cups of water to complete the recipe. This little step can take about 2 hours off of your crockpot cooking time
Have a great day!