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Beef, Barley, and Vegetable Soup

Beef, Barley, and Vegetable Soup

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?

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 8 oz mushrooms coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef 90% or higher
  • 32 oz 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Add the meat and cook, breaking up the large pieces, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain excess fat.
  3. 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
  4. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf and top each serving with grated Parmesan cheese as desired.