Beef Barley Soup

A big vat of hot soup is comfort food in the winter. What’s really awesome about soup is that it gets better after it has sat together, chilled in the refrigerator, then reheated next day. This recipe feeds my 3-person family for two days, and is a great classic meal.

1 lb. lean ground beef, free-range, grass-fed and organic
1 organic onion, chopped fine
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, organic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups beef broth, organic
4 cups water
3 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
3 ribs organic celery, diced
1/2 cup pearl barley, organic
2 pieces organic green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan or stock pot, brown ground beef over medium heat, breaking it up with a spatula. Drain the grease that comes out of the beef. People seem to be mystified about how to do this properly. Never ever drain the grease into your kitchen sink. You are asking for trouble, you bad kitty! Grease hardens when cold, so your kitchen sink will clog up if you pour that grease down the sink.

I use a Pot Drainer to drain the grease into an empty can I keep next to the stove. I keep adding grease to it until it’s about 3/4 full. Let the grease harden in the can before throwing it out, can and all.

Stir in onion and cook until glassy. Add tomatoes, oregano, broth, carrots, celery and barley. Bring to a boil, then return to a simmer on low. Cook for an hour until barley is tender. Add green onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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