Besides baking, I also love making soups because they are super easy to make and of course they taste much better than their canned counterparts. For me, there is really no reason to buy canned soups when it is so simple to make and it is much healthier. Unless of course if you are taking it to camping. In this recipe, I have used my home canned tomatoes, in which the recipe can be found here. But you can always use store-bought, it would taste just as good. I have also used pearl barley, which needs to be cooked before adding it into the soup. Alternatively, you can also add quick-cooking barley directly into the soup and simmer for a short time until it is tender.
- 1–2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
- 1 lb. Stewing Beef, cubed
- 4 stalks of Celery, diced
- 1 medium Carrot, diced
- 2 medium Onions, diced
- 1 cup Pearl Barley
- 500 mL Canned Tomatoes
- 4 cups Hot Water
- 2 Beef Bouillon Cubes
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2–4 sprigs of fresh Thyme
- Cook barley if you are using pearl barley — I cooked 1 cup of pearl barley in 2 cups of water in my rice cooker.
- Dice all the vegetables to bite size.
- Heat oil in a large heavy pot or dutch oven on high heat. Sautee stewing beef until browned on all sides — this will give the soup more flavour.
- Add diced vegetables and sautee for about 3–4 more minutes.
- Pour in the hot water, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and beef bouillon.
- Bring the soup to a boil and reduce heat and simmer until the beef is tender.
- Add cooked pearl barley and cook for 5–10 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves, and thyme sprigs.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Optional: Garnish with chopped parsley.
This flavourful soup makes a great lunch or dinner companion. I love the chewy texture that is left in the cooked barley and the earthy aroma of the thyme. I’ve used good quality, organic beef bouillon cubes but of course beef stock or vegetable stock will also work well in the recipe.