Another great recipe from my Massachusetts colleagues, the Meal Makeover Moms. This delicious, hearty soup is sure to be a hit with your whole family and is chock-full of healthy ingredients including barley, several veggies, and beans (optional). If you're up for it, why not try using local grass-fed beef from a farmer's market (even in the winter, there's one at Cole Gardens) or the Coop?
- 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 8oz mushrooms, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound lean ground beef (90% or higher)
- 32oz beef or chicken broth - Better than Bouillon paste works great (use 1/2 tsp per cup of water)
- 1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 dice
- 1/2 cup barley - pearled or quick cooking
- 1 can kidney or pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 2/3 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirringly frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add the meat and cook, breaking up the large pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat.
- Stir in the broth, crushed tomatoes, carrots, barley, beans, Worcestershire sauce, salt, bay leaf, thyme, and oregano. Cover, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the carrots and barley are tender, about 1 hour
- Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf and top each serving with grated Parmesan cheese as desired.