Soup Weather

I finally broke out a pair of socks last week and put away my sandals. That means winter weather is here- for us tropical islanders, that doesn’t mean snow but it does mean chilly wind and rain. It’s the perfect weather for soup and here is one of my go-to recipes.

Beef Barley Vegetable Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, finely minced
4 carrots, diced
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups water
4 cups beef or vegetable broth
1 large (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 small  (4 ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup barley
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and crumble in the ground beef. Saute the beef until the beef is evenly browned and drain, saving a tablespoon of rendered grease in the pot. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery and saute on low heat for 20 minutes (vegetables should not brown but slowly cook, all while giving the most wonderful fragrance). Return beef to pot and add remaining ingredients;  bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 90 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Check seasoning and add additional salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves and serve with crusty bread.

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