Beef and Barley Soup
This one is a classic! My mom has always made beef and barley soup in big batches to freeze, send to friends, or heat up for a quick, hearty meal. I was itching to make it since the weather has started cooling off so I sent my husband to the store for barley. I forgot to ask him to also get the diced tomatoes and beef consommé. So I improvised.
Improvising is key for cooking. If you get caught up in the specifics of a recipe every single time, you are going to drive yourself crazy. Think of them more of a guide than a rulebook – unless you are baking. Baking is very important to follow recipes.
So I didn’t have diced tomatoes – but I had tomatoes. I didn’t have beef consommé – but I had homemade chicken broth. I made what I could with what I had for my family, and it turned out lovely! I’m going to share the right recipe with you here, because you deserve it. The beef consommé is a pretty key ingredient, so not having that did significantly change the flavor, but hey it’s still delicious and no one in this house is complaining!
I suggest doubling the batch so you have some good freezer meals to rely on. If you have a friend who needs a meal for any reason, this is a hearty, comforting, healthy one for them. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!
Photo Cred to my sister, Hillary (Je Vois Photography)
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks with tops, chopped
parsley to taste
1 Tbsp salt
3/4 cup barley
1 can 28 oz tomatoes
2 cans beef consommé
2 soup cans water
3 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1.5 lbs ground beef
Sauté onions. Brown beef and drain. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for one hour.