Beef Barley Soup

    Homemade soup is not my strength. I would like to get better at it but I am just not that good at it. My mother-in-law however is the queen of making homemade soups. Her’s always turn out amazingly delicious without any kind of recipe.  You know, where she just kind of dumps whatever she has in her cupboards and fridge in a pot and it turns out delicious!  And, my husband always rates my soups against what his mom’s are like. No pressure, right?

    (And, by the way, I love my mother-in-law dearly!  She is wonderful, not your typical
    MIL relationship in any way!)  🙂

    So, I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to invite my in-laws over for dinner on a night I decided to make a homemade soup. I mean, really?  Soup???? For the queen of homemade soups???

    Luckily, Iowagirl’s recipes haven’t failed me in the past and this one followed suit.  This Beef Barley Soup was amazing!  Everyone loved it!  The soup was delicious, meaty, hearty, and healthy.  And, we had plenty left over.  I was able to freeze a big batch for another meal for our family in a few weeks.  The best kind of leftovers! 

    Beef Barley Soup

    Recipe adapted from www.iowagirleats.com

    1lb lean ground beef

    1 small onion, processed or chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    3 large carrots, chopped
    3 ribs celery, chopped
    3 c. kale, stems removed and chopped
    1-14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
    3 c. frozen green beans
    1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
    4-6 c. beef broth
    1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    1 bay leaf
    3/4 cup barley
    salt & pepper
    Worcestershire sauce
     
    Instructions
     
    Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add ground beef, onion and garlic, and season with salt & pepper. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Add carrots and celery and continue to cook until carrots are tender, about 3-4 more minutes.
    Add in kale, tomatoes, green beans, corn, 4 cups beef broth, basil, bay leaf and barley. Bring the soup to a boil.  Place a lid on top, lower the heat, and simmer for 60 minutes, or until the barley is tender. 
    The longer you cook the soup, the better it tastes.  After the initial 60 minutes of simmering, I left it on low on the stove most of the afternoon before we ate it.  The flavor just kept getting better.  Keep checking to see if the soup needs more broth.  I added as much as 2 cups of broth as I was cooking the soup.
    Add a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce and season with more salt & pepper to taste before serving.
     
    Husband Rating: 8 out of 10 (highest soup rating possible – in his mind, soups can never be a 10)
     
    Food for Thought: I had tons of leftover of this soup.  I froze it and plan to simply heat it up again for the meal.  If you are going to do this, plan to have some extra beef broth on hand.  Most likely you will need to add a bit when reheating the soup. 
     
     
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