Fritz’s parents arrive today!
His dad has a conference in the city next week, so they both decided to come early for a Father’s Day weekend visit. Fritz and I are so excited to see them, it’s ridiculous.
I wanted to make a big pot of soup that I could keep in the fridge for those moments when someone is hungry but everyone else isn’t, or for a quick lunch, or those post-plane moments when you need sustenance in five minutes or death by starvation is imminent.
You know those moments.
Since we had a busy day yesterday, I want to reintroduce you to one of my good friends: the Crock Pot.
Beef and Barley (and everything else) Soup
No ingredient list here, because every time I make this soup, it’s different. Depends on what I have in the fridge and the cupboards.
Spray the Crock Pot with canola oil to get things going and start off with a meat and those important savory soup ingredients–for this soup, I used an onion and the tops with 1/2 lb of ground beef. You could use anything–chicken, leftover steak, whatever.
I then added a giant pile of washed and chopped escarole.
Next, toss in the dried ingredients that are so convenient to have in the cupboard for moments like these. I used 1/2 C barley, 1/2 C black beans, and about 1/4 C of lima beans. These are very rough estimations.
Top with some salt ‘n’ peppa, a few sprigs of fresh thyme from the herb garden, and of course, a few bay leaves. I also added two chicken bouillon cubes (that’s equivalent to two cups of broth once I add the water).
Finish off the whole thing with a can of diced tomatoes and several cans of water (I think I used the tomato can five times, which would be 14 ounces x five–a lot. There’s a lot of dried things in there that will absorb a large quantity of water).
Set the Crock Pot on low for six hours, and go back to your to-do list for the day. Once everything is accomplished, your soup will be ready to go.
Gorgeous, ain’t it?
I find it quite easy to see the beauty in beef and barley, especially when it involves my mom’s Hadley soup crock. Love that thing.
The best part about this soup is that it is so versatile. Last time I made this, I had no escarole, but I used turnips, added lentils, carrots, and garlic, and it came out beautifully. Use up whatever you have that’s in danger of going to waste, and you are all set.
Have a beautiful day today!