Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Beef Barley Soup (Slow Cooker)

So as June hits, we aren't generally thinking about soups, but considering that many people I know turned their furnaces on last night due to the unseasonably cold temperatures, maybe soup isn't such a bad idea.  And honestly, if you are a person who tends to put the slow cooker away for the summer, you may want to reconsider.  Load it up in the morning then play outside, go to the park, head to the pool, take a bike ride, go shopping...and when you return, dinner will be waiting for you without having to heat up the kitchen!

This recipe is a delicious, hearty one.  It will be the first thing I make when I get leeks in my CSA this summer.  If you have never cooked with leeks, now is the time...they have a wonderful mild flavor that you will love and are a perfect complement to the other flavors in this recipe.

  • 1 1/2 lb lean beef stew meat, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 package (8 oz) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 leek (white and pale green parts), halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups beef broth (since a carton generally has 4 cups, I use a carton plus 1 cup water and 1 bullion cube)
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 3/4 cup medium barley, rinsed
  1. Season beef with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker.  Add carrots, onion, mushrooms, leek, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, bay leaf and beef broth.  Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours.
  2. Stir in thawed mixed vegetables and barley.  Cover and continue cooking on LOW 1-2 hours or until beef is fork-tender and barley is cooked.  Remove bay leaf before serving.

Difficulty: easy
Time: 15 minutes prep, 7-8 hours cook time.
Source: Adapted from The Slow Cooker Bible, a Crock Pot (R) book

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