Sunday, September 23, 2007

Beef Barley Soup

This recipe hails from Crazy Plates, by Greta and Janet Podleski. If you haven't ever tried their cookbooks, I highly recommend them. My copy is dog eared and falling apart because I use it so much! This soup is delicious and very, very easy. It also is perfect tucked into school lunches because it's so filling. I have made a few changes to it to suit our family-namely instead of water and beef boullion, I just use canned beef broth.

1 1/2 lbs of stewing beef, trimmed of fat and cut into bite sized cubes

1 cup EACH chopped celery, chopped carrots, and chopped onions

1 clove of garlic, minced

7 cups of beef broth

1 cup tomato sauce

2/3 cup pearl barley

1 1/2 tsp dried marjoram

3/4 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp pepper

salt to taste

In a large soup pot, saute the beef in a small amount of oil until all sides are browned. Remove from pot to a plate. In the same soup pot, saute the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for about 5 minutes or until softened, adding more oil if necessary. Add the beef and it's juices, and all the other ingredients back into the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is very tender.

This soup may appear runny while you are making it but the starch from the barley will thicken it up over time. It freezes very well and can be put in single sized portions for individual lunches.

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