The Easiest Slow-Cooker Vegetable, Beef, and Barley Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Slow-cooker
Serves: 6
 
This soup is most easily made in a slow-cooker but we also offer simple stovetop preparation instructions for those without one
Ingredients
  • Beef stew meat – 1 lb.
  • Onion, diced – 1
  • Celery, diced – 2 stalks
  • Carrots, peeled & chopped – 1 lb.
  • Garlic, minced – 4 cloves
  • Thyme – 4 sprigs
  • Bay leaves – 4
  • Beef broth / stock – 1 quart
  • Tomato paste – 4 tbs.
  • Kosher salt – 1 tsp.
  • Pearled barley – 1.5 cups
For stovetop
  • Canola / olive oil - 1 tbs.
Prep (can be done earlier in the day)
  1. Beef – Season with S&P and tenderize with a fork
  2. Onion / Celery / Carrots / Garlic – Prep as directed
  3. Night before or morning of – Toss all ingredients except barley in slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. Thyme and bay leaves can be tied together or put into a tea bag so they can be easily removed Ingredients for vegetable, beef, and barley stew in a slow-cooker
Make
  1. Bring 3 quarts water to boil. Add a generous amount of salt and then barley. Cook until softened, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain
  2. Remove thyme and bay leaves from pot. Stir in cooked barley. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper
Instructions for stovetop
  1. Prep ingredients and cook barley the same way. Instead of throwing ingredients into a slow-cooker, heat a >5 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil. To heated oil, add beef and sear ~4 minutes, turning once or twice to different sides
  2. Remove beef from pot and set aside. Add onions, celery, and garlic with a dash of salt. Saute until softened, ~4 minutes
  3. Add all ingredients except for the barley to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook covered for 35 to 45 minutes
  4. Remove thyme and bay leaves from pot. Stir in cooked barley. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper
Recipe by Cook Smarts at http://www.cooksmarts.com/cs-blog/2013/02/slow-cooker-beef-and-barley-soup-recipe/