Prepare for fall and a busy school year by mixing up a pot of this delicious homemade soup, chocked full of vegetables, beef, and barley. It’ll do your body good.
For the first ten years of my life, I thought that all soup came from a can. Then on an outing with my mom and the Great Aunt Cass, I had Cream of Chicken Soup at a restaurant as a starter. What a fancy meal it was for 10-year old me! The soup was so delicious! I had no idea that Cream of Chicken could be so tasty.
When we returned home, my mom cautioned me that the canned variety would not taste like what I’d had at that little restaurant in Winona, Minnesota. Blech and Oh My Word. No, it didn’t. That was probably the moment when I realized that there was something better than canned soup.
It would be another ten years, however before I realized I could make the good kind of soup myself.
Now, canned soup is off the table forever. I can make my own for just pennies and it tastes worlds better than anything I can buy in a box or can.
One of my favorite combinations is Vegetable, Beef, and Barley. I actually reminds me a lot of one that I did enjoy as a child. My mom would serve it with buttered saltines on the side. Yum!
The difference between now and that long ago childhood meal is that this soup beats the canned variety by a long shot. Full of vegetables and barley, it’s hearty and delicious. Freeze individual portions in freezer-to-microwave containers to pack for lunches, quick snacks, or dinners.
You may think that it’s too early to think about soup season, but I say that any meal that is ready to go in the freezer is perfect no matter what the weather. Plan ahead to make a big batch of this to stock your freezer. Those chilly nights — and early school days — will be here before we know it.
Vegetable, Beef, & Barley Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb chuck steak cubed
- 1 onion (1 cup chopped)
- 2-3 carrots (1 cup chopped)
- 2 rib celery (½ cup chopped)
- ½ cup pearl barley
- 4 cup vegetable broth
- 15 oz tomato sauce
- 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
- ½ green bell pepper (½ cup chopped)
- ½ cup frozen green peas thawed
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Brown the steak cubes on all sides for 5 minutes
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, and barley to the pot. Cook until the onions turn translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, chickpeas, bell pepper, peas, herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper. Simmer until the barley and vegetables are tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
- MAKE IT AHEAD: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
There are over 200 recipes packed away in my new book, Good Cheap Eats, including this one. You can preorder it now and Amazon (if that’s where you buy it) will guarantee you the lowest pre-release price between now and shipping time. I appreciate your support.