I was really excited to see that the Frugal Girl is planning to try out a new recipe each week. This is a background goal for me this year, but one that will help me meet the goals that are my priority and it should be fun, since I love to cook. And I have so many cookbooks that I don’t utilize to their full potential. I’ll be posting with about a week’s lag, I suspect, so each week’s recipe will more than likely be something I made and we ate the previous week. I am committing to following the recipe to the best of my ability, although it is likely that I will try to incorporate leftovers or those bits of food that somehow hang out even though the item is mostly finished — bits of cheese or condiments or partial bunches of veggies.
My first recipe features some roast beef leftover from our Christmas dinner. For that meal I made a 5lb sirloin tip roast. I did trim some fat from the roast before cooking and I’m sure some volume was lost during cooking. But still, that’s quite a lot of meat for two people. We had roast beef sandwiches and “steak” salads, but there was still 2.5 – 3lbs left. I divided that into two portions — one is in the fridge for a future soup and used the rest for this vegetable beef soup recipe. To be clear: I’ve made vegetable beef soup before. So this wasn’t an untried kind of food, just a recipe for the dish that appealed to me because: a) it can be made in the crockpot and b) I had everything on hand to make it. Also I’d not really ever used a recipe before (a common approach to cooking for me).
It was really good! And so easy since I could just put it in the crock pot and let it do it’s thing. I didn’t have to sear the beef since I was using leftover roast beef, but if I make this using the chuck roast called for, I definitely would not skip that step. Also, I made a recipe and a half, which corresponded to the amount of beef I had, and I made my own onion soup mix, which turned out to be super salty. Next time I will use (procure) low sodium beef bouillon as I think that was the main issue. I also added some barley for added heft and because I prefer a thick soup most of the time to a brothy soup. The original recipe comes from my copy of The Better Homes & Garden New Cookbook. What I’ve posted below includes my adaptations.
Vegetable Beef Soup with Barley
Adapted from The Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
Serves 9 or 10
1.5 lbs chuck roast, beef stew meat or other cut (I used leftover roast beef)
1 T. oil
2 c. green beans, cut into 1 – 2 inch pieces
1 c. frozen corn
1 c. frozen peas
2-3 potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 oz dried onion soup mix (I made my own using this recipe)
1 tsp. beef bouillon
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt (I omitted)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
6 c. water
1/3 c. barley (generously rounded)
- Trim fat from beef and cut into 1 inch chunks. Heat oil in a large skillet and sear beef, making sure to turn and catch all sides. Add seared beef to large (6 qt) crock pot.
- Add beans, corn, peas, and potatoes to crock pot. Sprinkle onion soup mix, beef bouillon, garlic powder, salt and pepper over beef and vegetables and toss with a spatula to coat.*
- Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and water. Cook on low heat 6-7 hours.
- With approximately 2-3 hours left before eating, stir in a generous 1/3 cup of barley. Continue cooking 2 – 3 hours longer.
- Serve with cracker, corn bread, or grilled cheese.
*I think this helps the seasonings actually season the ingredients as opposed to floating aimlessly in the water.