A hearty and delicious soup that will warm you inside and out.
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- ¾ pound beef stew meat cut into ½ inch pieces
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1½ cups)
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 stalks celery, diced (about ½ cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, or 2 teaspoons minced garlic in a jar
- 6 cups low-sodium beef broth
- One 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
- ½ cup pearled barley
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat.
- Dry off the meat with paper towels and then sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
- Add the meat to the pan and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes total.
- Transfer to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker.
- Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook another minute.
- Scrape the mixture from the skillet into the slow cooker. (If there are any browned bits still remaining in the skillet, add a little of the beef broth to de-glaze the pan and then add to the slow cooker.)
- Add the carrots, celery, mushrooms, broth, tomatoes, barley, and thyme to the slow cooker and stir to blend.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish each serving with a sprinkling of parsley, if desired.
Nutritional estimates per Serving (1½ cups): 275 calories, 10 g fat, 25 g protein, 22 g carbs, 5 g fiber. Although Ellie, made this on the stove, I turned it into a slow cooker soup recipe with great results. Add whatever vegetables you like. The last time I made this I added green beans, and chopped leftover swiss chard and it was delicious. Corn, peas, turnips and parsnips are other great choices.