Friday, January 16, 2009

Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup

We had a delicious but very expensive prime rib roast for Christmas dinner - it was a special occasion after all! Since my husband's family was unable to join us for that feast due to weather, we actually had quite a bit left over. I could not bear to see that rich meat go to waste. So I cut it all up, chopped a bunch of onions, carrots, potatoes, celery and divided it all into freezer bags. One will be French Onion soup (check back for that recipe!), 1 will be a beef stew and 2 were designated for Beef & Barley soup. I always loved that soup as a kid and hadn't had it in years!

I'd never actually made this soup before and it turned out better than I had imagined. There's not a ton of meat (because this was a rich cut, but any less expensive stew meat, cut into smaller pieces will be just as good) and the barley really thickens it up. The barley directions said to pre-cook it but I figured that since it was going into the crockpot, that wasn't necessary. I used a concentrated bouillon product called Better than Bouillon but regular bouillon cubes (2 for max flavor)should work just fine.

Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Soup

1 cup beef, cut into cubes/small pieces
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup onion, diced
3/4 cup barley
2 tablespoons Better than Bouillon
4 cups water

Put all ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Perfect for those cold winter evenings: warm food, warm soul!

I love the souper (har har) recipes on The Grocery Cart Challenge every week. Go over there for more great ideas and recipes!

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I am an attorney, working mom of 3, who loves a bargain, a great deal and freebies. Who doesn't want the best, for less? Come here to see my triumphs and budget tribulations, good deals and my take on what the good life can mean...