Beef and Barley Vegetable Soup Recipe

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Who doesn’t love “set it and forget it” meals? I have been making soups and stews a lot lately and I love how forgiving they are. You can add any vegetable you have on hand and it always turns out delicious, not to mention incredibly healthy.

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My only problem with slow cooker meals is that it makes the house smell so good while cooking, I always end up eating dinner at like 4 pm because I can’t wait any longer. For those that work out of the house, I guess you wouldn’t have that problem! This recipe was husband and children approved. A meal is a winner in my book if I can get through an entire meal without saying “eat your dinner” or “come on, take another bite please” to the kids. This meal was eaten without issues then both girls asked for more.

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If you are vegetarian just use chicken broth and 1 cup lentils instead of the beef.

Beef and Barley Vegetable soup

makes 6 servings

1 lb lean ground beef*

1 cup barley

1 can tomatoes

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped carrot

1 cup chopped green beans

2 cups chopped celery

3 cups low sodium broth

3 cups water

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp thyme

1/2-3/4 tsp salt**

1/4 tsp pepper

Slow cooker: Brown ground beef in a skillet. Place everything in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours…yep, that simple!

You can even throw the ground beef in raw with the rest of the ingredients and just give it a good stir/mash to break it up some. I am lazy and thats what I ususally do.

Stovetop: brown beef in 1 tsp olive oil in large pot. Add rest of ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn to low and let simmer for 1 hour or until vegetables are at desired tenderness.

*You can also use cut up steak (stew meat) if doing it in the slow cooker. I don’t recommend using stew meat if you are only going to simmer on the stove because 1 hour won’t be enough time to make it tender enough. You could use a higher quality cut of steak though if you wanted to use the stovetop method.

**I am not a big salt fan, so I only add a scant 1/2 tsp.

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Nutritional Information:

Calories: 292

fat: 6 g

Sodium: (15%)

Carbohydrates: 30 g

dietary fiber: 8 g

sugars: 3.6 g

Protein: 29 g

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