Tomato Beef Barley Soup

I have been making this comforting soup for a long time. I adore barley & I adore soup so… I make a large pot of soup and  freeze the leftovers.  The good news is I usually have all the ingredients on hand! It can be made the day before and stored, covered, in the fridge.  If you wish you can substitute farro for the barley.

Makes approximately 8 Servings

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped fine
(opt.) 1 clove garlic, minced
1 – 2 Tbsp. EVOO
1 (28) oz. tinned plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups water
4 cups beef stock or low salt beef broth**
1 tin (10 oz.) tomato soup
**Whole Foods sells 365 Organics in case you don’t use Campbell’s
4 carrots, chopped into ¼” dice
1 bay leaf
3 stalks celery, chopped into ¼” dice
1 ½ tsp. fresh thyme or ½ tsp. dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup pearl barley
4 Tbsp. chopped parsley

In a large pot, on medium heat brown the ground beef & onions in EVO. Drain off any accumulated fat. Add the carrots & celery; sauté for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except parsley. If using fresh thyme, add it to the soup 15 minutes or so before the soup is ready. Simmer, covered for approximately 2 hours, or until barley is really tender.

Serve in warm soup bowls with some crusty bread or homemade biscuits.

To make your own stock, click Making Stock.

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