stephanie and barley

sitting in a tree.  
First comes love,
Then comes marriage,
Then comes Stephanie with a bag of carrots.


Sometimes I forget how much I love barley.  And then one day I will be digging around in my cupboard and see the small, pale yellow box peeking out from behind some pasta and BOOM, I remember.  

This is a humble recipe found right on the side of the box.  I usually buy the Medium Barley as I've found that the quick cooking stuff gets too soggy too fast.  I under simmer this soup a little as I like my barley nice and chewy but even if you simmer it the whole time and reheat it, it doesn't get soggy.

Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup

1/2 lb. lean ground beef (substitute soy crumbles if you're that kind of girl)
1/2 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
7 c water
1 14.5oz can of tomatoes (any variety, chopped or diced.  the box says unsalted but dude, this recipe needs some salt so get salted)
1/2 c Quaker Medium Barley, uncooked
1/2 c sliced celery (I love celery in soup so I use more)
1/2 c sliced carrots (ditto)
2 beef bouillon cubes (or veg broth cubes, or just skip it and use veg broth or beef broth instead of water)
1/2 t dried basil, crushed
1 bay leaf  (not necessary.  don't go pay $3.50 for a jar of bay leafs if you don't have one.  trust me.)
1 9oz package of frozen mixed vegetables (or whatever you'd like.  I used a combo of Trader Joes roasted corn and some frozen baby peas this last time and it was gooood)

Brown meat in a large pot or dutch oven.  Add onion and garlic, cook until onion is tender.  Drain.  Stir in remaining ingredients except frozen veggies.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add frozen veggies and cook about 10 minutes or until veggies are tender.  Add more water if soup gets too thick upon standing.  Ignore your children when they gag at the dinner table and enjoy a big piping hot bowl with some crusty bread. 


  1. thanks for this, stephanie! i bought a can of vegetable barley soup the other day on a whim because i was craving it so much. i had forgotten how bad canned soup is: it was heavy on celery and the broth was so bitter. the whole can went down the drain. blech. now i can MAKE it! thanks again! :) ~liz


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