Friday, December 4, 2015

Beef & Barley Vegetable Soup - The Perfect Beginning to Autumn and Winter Feasting

Does anyone else get excited for soup season? That is what I just now decided to call when it is cool enough to start making delicious, aromatic, savory soups.

I adapted this treasure of a recipe from one that my mother-in-law sent me last year. Basically, everything about this soup is healthy (you can take out the beef if you want to) and it freezes really well. You can freeze it into single portions and take it for lunch.

Beef and Barley Vegetable Soup

2 c. pearled barley--cook per pkg. instructions while preparing the rest of the soup.
2 Tbs. olive oil
1-2 lbs beef stew meat (you can usually find chunks of beef that are perfect for stew in the meat aisle)
2 c. chopped onion
6 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 c. beef or vegetable broth
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 Tbs. Worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
6 c. chopped baby spinach or 1 10-oz. pkg frozen spinach, OR 6 c. finely chopped kale (can substitute cabbage as well)

While barley cooks, brown the beef and saute onion and carrots in olive oil for 5 minutes (use a large stockpot--this recipe makes 8 three-cup servings).. Add garlic, sauteing 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes, tom. paste, Worc. sauce, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to low boil, simmer 20-25 minutes until carrots are tender. Add greens and cooked barley, stir well. Remove from heat and serve.

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