2-Step Crock-Pot Meal: Beef, Barley, & Onion Soup


Lately I have been in an inspired cooking mood. I've been trying new recipes a lot the past month or so, and it's really fun to discover meals that I know will be staples in our house for years to come. 

One such meal is an easy Crock-Pot recipe that is delicious and good for you! It involves barley, which I'd never eaten or even bought before. I would compare it to rice as far as how you cook it and consistency. It was so good! You really should try this sometime this week before it gets too warm for delicious Crock-Pot soups. Just add all the ingredients and let this baby cook all day while you're at work. Then, voila! Dinner! 

Ingredients: 9
Cook time: 8-9 hours

What you will need: 

2 lbs beef stew meat [1/2-inch cubes]
3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 large ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 cans (14.5 oz) beef broth
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves (*note: I didn't have any, so I didn't use it)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup barley
2 cups French's French Fried Onions, divided

(I cut up the carrots and celery the night before, so in the morning I could just throw them in the Crock-Pot.)
I just get a package of stew meat like this at Walmart or your local grocery store. You will notice that the recipe called for 2 lbs, and this is 2.37 lbs. We used all the meat, and it turned out fine. It's all about improvisation. 

Step 1: Combine beef, carrots, celery, broth, and seasonings in slow cooker. Cover. Cook on LOW 7 hours (or HIGH for 3.5 hours) until meat and veggies are tender.

Step 2: After the 7 hours, stir in barley. Cover and cook on LOW for 1 hour or HIGH for 1/2 hour or until barley is tender. Stir in 1 cup of French fried onions. Spoon soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with remaining onions.

And that's it! Super easy and SO good. This fed Jordan and I for a few days, with multiple helpings each. It was just as delicious warmed up as leftovers. 

I will add one quick note: I didn't read correctly and accidentally added 1 1/2 cups of barley (so three times as much). It wasn't a huge problem, but it did take longer to cook (it was about 1 hour on high after adding the barley); and the barley soaked up the broth, so it wasn't quite as "soupy." I think you could add as much or little barley as you wanted to, depending on how much broth you have and how much leftovers you want. 

Also, if you don't like onions, I think this soup would be fine without them. But they do add a crunch and a bit more flavor.
Allison said...

Yum! Looks and sounds delicious!

Mimsie said...

Mmmmmm....I bet your home smells delicious when you arrive home from work.

Claire@MyDevising said...

Looks yummy! I tried barley for the first time about a year ago and was pleasantly surprised! Glad to find another tasty recipe for it. :)

Jessica Miller said...

I love that you've got the cooking bug because that means everyone at Taste of Tuesday gets your awesome recipes!! :) This looks SO good!! Thanks for linking up!!

Anonymous said...

I love anything in a crock pot - it's so easy!! Soups are probably my favorite thing and this one sounds delicious! Do you use crock pot liners? I just recently discovered them and think they are the greatest things ever! So glad you linked up with us!!

Carly Hilinski-Rosick said...

I love my Crock Pot but have never tried soup in it. I think I might need to give this one a shot, especially since we are having never ending winter in my area!