Recipe: Vegetable Beef Soup W/Barley

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)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.*
  3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce and water. Cook on low heat 6-7 hours.
  4. With approximately 2-3 hours left before eating, stir in a generous 1/3 cup of barley. Continue cooking 2 – 3 hours longer.
  5. 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.


4 thoughts on “Recipe: Vegetable Beef Soup W/Barley

    1. I like the crock pot for soup — I usually sauté aromatics first just for depth of flavor, but it’s so nice to just let the crock do the work for the rest of the day.

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