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BEEF TOMATO-BARLEY SOUP

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"It has finally stopped snowing", she said quietly as she knocked on wood. We actually saw the sun today and they are calling for more sun tomorrow; it has been quite a winter!! My poor old crock pot has hardly hit the shelf this winter; it seems like there is always some bean or soup recipe bubbling away in there. 

Today's post is one of picky-picky husbands crockpot favorites. It is very rich, very beefy, very filling and it just keeps getting better and better the longer it cooks.


I was a young bride when I tried to make  home made beef soup the first time and it was terrible (I think it called for a ton of bay leaves). I remember cooking it all day and wanting it to taste as good as it looked, but we just couldn't eat it.

I didn't give up though, I tried all kinds of magazine recipes; some had a ton of herbs; some had onion soup mix; some had Italian salad dressing mix in it; I tried them all, with little success. I decided to go back to a no frill vegetable soup recipe.  I tweaked it for years until it evolved into the recipe I'm posting today. Picky-picky husband is crazy about this soup and loves to dip hot buttered bread rolls into it.

2 pounds beef chuck roast
1 cup onion chopped
1 cup celery chopped
2 cups carrot chopped
4 large potatoes cubed
2/3 cup pearl barley (don’t leave out)
(2) 32 ounce boxes beef broth
(1) 15 ounce can tomato sauce
½ teaspoon black pepper
(2) heaping teaspoons beef bullion granules 

Cut the beef into 1” cubes, removing as much fat as possible. Brown beef in a minimal amount of vegetable oil until beef is nice and crusty brown (this is where the majority of your soup flavor will come from, so don't skip this step).
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Remove beef from fry pan and drain off as much fat as you can; add onion, celery and carrots. Using the moisture from the veggies, de-glaze any crusty brown bits on the bottom of the pan. If the brown bits are stubborn, add a table spoon of water and use your spatula to scrape up the fond . Cook until onions are transparent. 
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Put the beef and sauteed vegetables in the crockpot and add the rest of the ingredients, stir well. Cook on low for 8 hours.
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NOTE: Do not leave out barley. It not only gives a wonderful flavor to the soup, but it thickens the broth. 

NOTE: Put any vegetables you like in the soup, just make sure they are vegetables that can stand up to long cooking times.

NOTE: Taste the soup for salt when it is almost done cooking.



more recipe @ coleensrecipes.blogspot.com

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