Saturday, October 01, 2011

Fall Finally Falls on the North Country, or Soup, Soup and More SOUP!

When we woke up this morning and came downstairs, it was 55 degrees in the living room, and 42 (and raining and windy) outside! I guess fall has finally fallen! So while my roommate started hauling in wood from the front porch and getting a fire roaring in the wood stove, I assumed my position in the kitchen and filled up the crock pot with all manner of good and healthful things to stick to the ribs and warm the soul. This recipe is based on one from Better Homes and Gardens that I tinkered with only slightly.  Savory and seasonally appropriate, and a great dish to use up whatever vegetable matter that you have lingering in your produce bin. Stay warm, y'all!

Crockpot Ground Beef and Barley Soup
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

1 pound lean ground beef
2 cups thinly sliced carrots (4 medium)
1 cup chopped onion (1 large) or 1/2 large onion and one leek, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced celery (2 stalks)
1/2 cup chopped red pepper (or use roasted ones from a jar)
2-4 cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic, so I used 4!)
48 ounces beef broth
1 28-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes, undrained
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup medium barley (uncooked)
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed, or 2 tablespoons snipped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)

In a large skillet cook beef, carrot, onion, celery, sweet pepper, and garlic over medium heat until meat is brown and vegetables are tender. Drain well; add to crock pot.

Stir in beef broth. Add undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, barley, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, dried or snipped oregano, thyme, cayenne, black pepper, and salt.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours until barley is tender. Discard bay leaves before serving.  Finely-shredded Italian cheese blend makes the perfect garnish.

Makes five quarts.


Randi said...

If it ever cools off here, I must try this with ground turkey.

Mia said...

ur cat is sooo cute! it looks so much like mine :)

Anonymous said...

Delicious soup Joy!
Smelled tempting and l am thinking about another half-serving.
Next tine l will cut the 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne in half to suit my family's tastes.
Thanks for anther keeper.
Kelly from Canada