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January 26, 2009

Better Bites: Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup

There is no reason you can't have lean beef and some potatoes in a healthy well rounded diet, if you eat them properly. That doesn't mean they have to be boring either. This soup is simple, yet hearty and healthy, all while being delicious and easy. It's just perfect when you want something that tastes good, that isn't all that bad for you, yet tastes amazing. You can make it straight up or you can play around with the ingredients and make something a little different every time, but trust me you can't go wrong!


What You'll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large carrot, chopped into cubes
1 medium sized potato, chopped into cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1 - 1 pound lean steak, sliced into bite sized bits
A pinch of sea salt
A generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
1 quart of broth (Note: Beef or mushroom broth would be best, but whatever you like will be fine! I used some homemade beef broth this go around, but I've used mushroom broth in the past as well.)
1 -14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained (Note: Fire roasted tomatoes really give this soup a nice overall flavor,but you can use plain, or even the ones that are seasoned with basil and oregano.)
3/4 cup of barley

In a medium sized pot over medium heat sauté carrot, potato and onion in a little extra virgin olive oil until onions are tender. Add the steak and cook until just browned. Next add a pinch of sea salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Add broth, diced tomatoes and barley and stir to mix. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for at least 30 minutes or until barley, potatoes and carrots are tender. Serve immediately.

Notes: You could add any sort of herb you like to this soup. I prefer just salt and pepper because I think the soup is fabulous as is, but if you wanted you could add some thyme, rosemary and/or basil. To mix things up you could use a sweet potato instead of a regular potato. You could also add in other vegetables such as mushrooms, leeks, corn, peas, etc.

Posted by Dianne at January 26, 2009 8:35 AM

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I've made a beef and barley stew before. It was great! Following your example I actually cooked it in the slow cooker!

Posted by: ingrid at January 26, 2009 12:06 PM

I actually make a version of this regularly during the fall and winter. The recipe I have (from the side of the barley box :) calls for frozen mixed veggies. I usually put in some peas at least, and often corn, too, and usually not the potatoes. We like Italian seasoning mix (thyme, oregano, rosemary...what else is in there?) with this, too, and I usually leave the tomatoes undrained as it adds a nice richness to the soup. And ground beef as opposed to the steak.

See? The recipes are *related*, aren't they? :D (Actually, I think this is the kind of recipe that you can fiddle around with a LOT and still have something really yummy at the end of the process.)

Posted by: Laurie at January 26, 2009 6:08 PM

I discovered barley a few years ago when I was doing Weight Watchers. I love it!

Posted by: Dianne at January 28, 2009 10:25 AM

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