This soup is a square meal in a bowl. You should really make this soup. It made my babies practically lick their bowls and my husband pledge his eternal love forever more. OK, so I invented that one, but my kids DID devour their portions. Another reason you should make this soup? It is a proud participant in my ever growing repertoire of how-to-get-tasty-dinner-on-the table-without-missing-my-afternoon-nap recipes. Afternoon naps are capital. Just refer to your closest kindergarten teacher for further information.
Note to self – double the recipe next time around.
Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 to 1.5 lb (500 to 750 gr) beef stew cubes
2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
1 medium zucchini (or substitute for a red pepper, 1 cup broccoli florets or any other vegetable that rings your bell)
4 cups beef stock
1 large can of diced or crushed tomatoes (800 ml/28 oz.)
1/2 cup barley
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp dry rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. Place chopped onion in a microwave safe shallow dish, mix in 1 Tbsp. olive oil and microwave for 2 minutes, just until the onions are translucent.
2. With a sharp knife, chop the meat cubes into smaller, bite size cubes. Like so:
3. Dice the vegetables into similar bite size pieces.
4. Place meat and vegetables in slow cooker
5. Mix in all the rest of the ingredients (except the parsley) and cook on high for about 3 hours, or on low for about 6 hours. Add chopped parsley and serve, decorated with some more parsley if desired.
6. Optional: if you want to add some richness to the soup, mix 1 Tbsp. butter with 1 tsp flour and microwave for 1 minute. Pour the mixture into the hot soup and mix well.