Sunday, March 24, 2013

Soup's On! Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup with Barley

When I headed out last week for my weekly grocery shopping trip, I knew that there was a forecast for snow AGAIN this weekend.  Honestly, I am so sick of winter!  But.....I did wake up on Friday morning and I HEARD BIRDS CHIRPING!  A sure sign that we are heading in the right direction.  Back to the impending knowing that snow was coming, I anticipated being snuggled under my new quilt (A pinterest project and an entire post in itself!), a good book in hand and a crockpot of Vegetable Beef Soup simmering in the crockpot. 
The snow arrived and it has been going off and on all day!  So, the crockpot got drug out early this morning to start the Vegetable Beef soup before church.

This recipe was given to me by a friend and has become one of my family's favorites.  I love that it is:
1)  Easy!
2)  Done in the crockpot so I can get it ready in the morning and forget about it all day.
3)  It makes a huge batch, so there is always enough for leftovers or to share.  We usually take over some to our neighbor lady, Sue.  She just turned 90 and is just a delightful lady that we enjoy visiting with, sharp as a tack and loves sports!  We knew she would be watching the NCAA tournament games and might enjoy something warm for dinner. 
4)  Healthy---Fresh vegetables, barley for fiber, it just speaks 'comfort'.
5)  It gets a thumbs up from all 5 in my family!


2-3 lbs stew meat
Onion, diced
6 C waters
2 C tomato juice
8 oz tomato sauce
1 T salt
2 t. worchestershire sauce
1/4 t. chili powder
1 beef bullion cube
2 bay leaves
celery, diced
carrots, diced
potatoes, diced
1 cup cooked barley
1 can corn
1 can green beans
1 can peas

Cut any fat off of stew meat and cut into bite size pieces.  Brown in skillet.  When brown, pour meat and all pan drippings into crockpot.  Add everything else to crockpot and mix well.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  With about 1 hour to go in cooking time, add cooked barley (just cook quick cooking barley in boiling water for 10-15 minutes.  Don't add it uncooked or it will absorb all of the soup liquid.)  Fish out bay leaves and add 1 can each of peas, corn, and green beans.  Simmer one more hour. 
That's it!  It's yummy and packed full of veggies and tender bites of beef.  Serve it with a crusty loaf of French bread or some buttermilk biscuits. 

This is a super easy meal to whip up before work as well.  Nothing makes you relax like walking in the door of your home after a long day at the office, and being greeted by the aroma of dinner waiting for you!!  The work is done, you can enjoy a healthy meal with your family.  A crockpot is a working mom's best friend many days! 

Thick and hearty, this soup will bring your family to the table quickly!
Enjoy your time at the table with your loved ones,

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