Family Beef Barley Soup

Family Beef Barley Soup

Family Beef Barley Soup 
Feed & satisfy many at the table with little time and pantry staples.   Love in a bowl! The combination of tomato paste & tomatoes adds richness and umami, especially if you don't have stock on hand.  
Serves 4-6

1 lb Ground beef
2 tbsp. butter 
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced 
2 celery ribs, finely diced 
1 clove garlic, finely chopped 
1/4 cup tomato paste 
1 cup good quality canned tomatoes
8 cups beef stock, chicken stock or water 
1 large, fresh bay leaf
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 
1 cup barley 
salt and pepper, to taste 

  1. In a heavy soup pot brown beef; strain off any excess fat, but do leave some.
  2. Add butter to melt, then add onion. Allow to cook for a few minutes, seasoning with salt and stirring until soft.  Add carrot, celery and garlic.  Season and stir for a few minutes.  
  3. Stir in tomato paste & tomatoes, breaking up larger pieces of whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon.  
  4. Let tomatoes come to a high simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes until concentrated.
  5. Add stock, herbs & barley.
  6. Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer and cook until barley is tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  7. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as you like.


*Note: you may have to add a little extra stock or water if soup becomes too thick during cooking time. 

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