I know some of you out there are very good friends with your slow cooker. Truth be told, mine only comes out once every couple of weeks. However, when I use it – I develop a fond relationship with it. This beef and barley soup is a keeper.
Low and slow for 6 hours and you can have a relaxing evening after work or those after-school activities. Even if you have nothing going on before dinner, it’s nice to have everything done for you – sit down and take a load off and know that you have an amazing dinner waiting for you.
One thing I love about dishes like this, is the price. This gives a hearty 6 portions with 1 pound of meat, you heard me, 1 pound. The rest is veggies, spices and stock…and wine, if you want the wine, and why wouldn’t you? But, maybe you don’t do alcohol and that’s okay. Just substitute more stock. So, with a little quick math, I made this soup for under $10 and fed my hungry family of 5 AND we have leftovers.
The fresh thyme isn’t necessary either, but if you have an herb garden started, it just adds another depth of flavor. And the color, I love a little green on my soup.
So much nutrition packed in one little bowl of soup.
- 1 pound beef stew meat
- 1 Tablespoon canola or olive oil
- 2 cups cubed potatoes
- 1 cup diced carrots
- ½ cup diced yellow or white onion
- ½ cup diced celery
- 4 cups low sodium beef broth or stock
- ½ cup red wine (if not using wine, substitute with ½ cup beef stock or water)
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
- *added at the end * ½ cup quick cooking barley
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add oil and beef
- Saute just until meat is brown on each side
- Remove from heat and add to slow cooker
- Add remaining ingredients (except barley) to slow cooker
- Set slow cooker on low and set timer to 5.5 hours
- Add barley and set time for an additional 30 minutes
- Keep warm until serving