Mar 17, 2008

Beef Barley Soup

We eat a lot of soup at our house during the cold weather months. My favorite soup is Lentil Soup with Ham but Jeff's favorite is Beef Barley. Last week on a day I had Brayden, I threw together the mixings for Beef Barley soup and put it in the slow cooker for the day. It was one of my best yet (although, we say this for almost every pot of soup I make! LOL) so I thought I'd see if I can remember the recipe and post it here. 1.5 lbs of stew beef* 3 tbsp Beef soup base 8 cups water 2 carrots, diced 2 stalks celery, diced 2 med onions, chopped 1 can petite diced tomatoes 1 cup barley 1 tbsp worcesteshire sauce 1 serving spaghetti noodles broken into thirds 1 tbsp oregano Salt, pepper to taste Add beef, beef soup base, water, carrots, celery, onions, worcesteshire sauce, oregano and salt & pepper to the crockpot. Put on HIGH for 4 hours. Add tomatoes and barley, stir, switch crockpot to LOW for at least 2 more hours. Add spaghetti and turn back to HIGH until noodles are cooked (about 30 minutes). That's it! I do like a "thick" soup (thick with beef, noodles and vegetables, less broth), but if you like more broth, increase the water and beef soup base accordingly. I do sometimes buy a chuck steak or other steak that's on sale and cut it up for my own stew beef. This is usually quite a $$$ savings. Stew beef goes for $3.49 a pound and chuck steak often goes on sale for $1.89 lb. If you do this, leave SOME fat on the meat -- that's what gives the stock flavor. I know a lot of people roll their beef chunks in flour and brown it before adding it to soup, but I don't. I just toss everything in the crockpot and go. *Beef soup base can be found in your grocery aisle near the beef bouillion. It has a much more natural taste to it and a lot less salt flavor than bouillion and adds a nice beef flavor to the soup. I use chicken soup base as well.

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