Saturday, November 19, 2011

Beef Vegetable Soup

I love my fresh produce delivery that I get from time to time. Sometimes there are excellent recipes included that encourage me to try new things. Yes, I always hope to keep learning to cook new things, too! This week, they had a Beef Barley Vegetable Soup. By the looks of it, this is more of a stew, but who am I to argue as I sit here, inhaling the aroma of it simmering in my slow cooker. I now have a wonderful new dish in my repertoire. Here, thanks to Winder Farms, is my adaptation of this recipe. Note: I didn't have the barley so it's optional.

Beef Vegetable Soup/Stew
                                          <photo courtesy of>

  • 2 lbs of boneless beef tenderloin ribs from chuck (the strips cook more evenly than a whole chuck roast)
  • 1/2 c barley (not in my recipe, unfortunately)
  • 1 tbsp salt, 2 tsp pepper and 1 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables
  • 3 russet potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can beef bouillon and 1 c water (or 4 c water and 4 beef bouillon cubes)
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 6 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • Extra salt to taste (I used another tbsp or so)
  • Ground black pepper to taste
In a slow cooker, cover the beef with approximately 1 c of water and sprinkle with the first amounts of garlic powder, salt and pepper. Cook until very tender on HIGH heat (approximately 3 hours). Remove beef and cut into bite-sized chunks, then return to the slow cooker. Add can of broth and additional water. Heat oil in a large sauce pan and saute the carrots, celery, onion, potatoes and frozen mixed vegetables until the onion and celery are translucent. Stir often so the vegetables don't burn the bottom of the pot.

Meanwhile, place chopped tomatoes in the slow cooker along with the 1/4 c sugar, pepper and salt. Add saute'd veggies to the slow cooker along with additional salt and pepper and continue cooking on HIGH for approximately another 2 hours (until the vegetables are tender). 

Note: I had previously frozen some good home-made beef gravy, so I added that to the pot to give a bit of texture since I didn't have the barley. It worked for me! Roma tomatoes also retain their shape better than the other varieties, giving a nicer look to the finished "soup." Talk about good food for a cool day! Serve with chunks of French bread or my favorite - rye or pumpernickel!

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