Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

According to my family, the world’s best vegetable beef soup is this easy, quick concoction. This is a hearty, thick soup with tomato and beef flavors. It is not overly seasoned but sufficient herbs are used to make the soup flavorful. Unless it is a huge bowl, it is hard to eat just one serving.

All the cutting is done in a food processor. If you do not have a processor, it will still be a great soup – it will just take longer to prepare.

This recipe makes a good-sized batch. It freezes well.

I’ve toyed with the recipe in the 30 years that I have been making this soup, but always come back to the original. But, obviously peas, green beans, more of this, less of that can be your way. It’s soup – we can always play with soup!

1 C fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves
12 oz onion, quartered
1 ½ # ground chuck
14 ½ oz canned diced tomatoes
12 oz baking potato, scrubbed
10 oz carrots, scrubbed
8 oz celery, peeled
3 C tomato juice
3 C beef broth
½ C barley
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Fresh ground pepper

In food processor, with steel blade:
Chop parsley and set aside
Roughly chop onions and garlic using off and on buttons

Add onions to soup pot.
Add beef.
Cook, on medium heat, until beef is browned.

Meanwhile, using slicing disc in food processor:
Slice potato, carrots and celery

When beef is ready, add vegetables and all other ingredients except parsley.
Stir and cook, over medium heat, until vegetables are soft, about 50 minutes.

Add parsley.
Discard bay leaf.

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