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March 08, 2010

Vegetable Beef and Barley Soup


By Beth Sollars
Singingirl Cooks

It's cold again in south Florida. Where is the warm and mild weather I ask? I can't exactly be thinking picnics in the park and ice cream desserts. I'm stuck in a soup rut!!!  So here comes another addition to my list of soup recipes, hearty and delicious vegetable beef and barley soup. Since I didn't use a soup bone and used vegetable broth rather than beef broth, you could exchange the beef in this recipe for chicken very easily, I would guess, and have a great outcome.


1 lb. beef for stew, substitute 1 lb. of chicken breast if you prefer
1 Tbs. oil
4 carrots, sliced
2 stalks of celery, chopped, use the celery leaves
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, including liquid
3 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 pkg. frozen mini corn on the cob
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup barley


Cut the already cubed stew meat into smaller, bite sized pieces. Heat the oil in a soup pot and brown the beef (or chicken).  Add the rest of the already chopped up ingredients except the barley. I used my food processor for the onion, garlic and parsley, and then gave the celery a bit of a coarser chop.  I don't like too many big pieces of onion hanging around in the soup.... Check the seasoning, cover and simmer on low for a good long while, two hours even. Add the barley and continue cooking until everything is nice and soft and smelling delicious, probably another hour or more if using regular barley (not the quick cooking kind.) When you're ready to serve, remove the bay leaf first. Then ladle the soup into a bowl. Add one ear of corn to each bowl and attach one of those cute little corn-on-the-cob holders so you can easily pick up the corn and munch away.

The next day, you can thin this out with some more broth or tomato juice.  Now go make this! Baby, it's cold outside!!!

I bought Glory brand seasoned cooking base, the roasted vegetable flavor. It's so much better than bouillon and less expensive than cans of broth. There's even a brand out there called Better Than Bouillon. These cooking bases are in the 4 to 5 dollar range, but refrigerated they last a long, long time and come in handy for kicking up the flavor of your soups and sauces, vegetables, etc.
Peggy I just had to include a shot of Ms. Peggy the Pug, who always seems to be under my feet, or under the food, looking for something, anything to drop down.  Not this time Peggy!!!

- Beth!

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