- 1 quart of crushed tomatoes
- 1 quart of sliced carrots
- 1 quart of string beans
- ground beef (an amount to your liking)
- 1-2 onions chopped (to your taste)
- 1 cup of rolled barley
- salt and pepper (to your taste)
- and secret ingredient - MINT (picked fresh from home and dried in my dehydrator - in a not so fancy used jar)
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Vegetable Beef Barley Soup
This delicious soup, brimming with tasty and colorful ingredients, is comforting on any day of the year. Using preserved vegetables from my summer garden give an added goodness to the flavor.
Here at my house we enjoy this soup on a crisp winter day as well as on a hot summer day when our house is chilled by the air conditioner. The three main ingredients, all picked fresh from my vegetable garden at peak and canned, are crushed tomatoes, string beans and carrots. This recipe can be modified in many different ways: omit the meat for a vegetarian style soup; with or without barley; add a small type of pasta; use beef or vegetable stock; add your favorite spice(s), add additional vegetables; etc. I'm presenting this as another way to use home-grown garden ingredients to prepare a quick, easy, nutritional and extremely good tasting soup that, in itself, is good enough to be the main entree....and as encouragement for you to join the sustainable movement of gardening and preserving.
In a large soup kettle/pot fry the ground beef with the onions on medium heat breaking the beef into small pieces until the meat is thoroughly cooked.
Add the crushed tomatoes and the liquid from the string beans and the carrots to the beef and onion mixture and bring to a boil.
Add the rolled barley, salt and pepper and mint to the pot and boil covered for 15 minutes. Consider adding other spices at this step.
I just remembered at this point that I had some dried tomatoes (not sun dried but dehydrator dried) in the freezer so I added them to the pot for additional tomato flavor. You could add a couple spoonfuls of tomato paste or beef bouillon for an enhanced broth flavor also.
Add the already cooked string beans and carrots to the boiling pot and simmer for a few minutes more until the vegetables get good and hot.
It's time to serve!
The final result is always outstanding...as it should be. With the just-picked garden-fresh tasting ingredients and the hand-picked spices and choice flavoring, it's custom made just for you!
This is not a recipe...it is a creation!