Slow cooker beef barley soup - delicious! For cooking - I put meat and broth in crockpot in the morning on low. Added veggies and barley at lunch and kept on low. Possibly a little less time on barley - meat in am, veggies at noon, barley 2 hours before serving? (LL 10/31/12)

In case you are in cold country and you need a good and hearty soup recipe for this weekend, I want to share this one with you.

1-1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (I use leftover roast)

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 cups finely chopped onion

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup sliced celery

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 can (12-1/2 oz) beef broth

1 can (14-1/2 oz) chicken broth

2 cups water

1/2 cup medium pearl barley (I use the quick cook barley)

1 teaspoon salt, optional

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle, brown meat in oil.  If you are using leftover roast, just shred it.  Remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Saute onion, carrots and celery in drippings over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme; cook and stir for 3 minutes.  Add broths, water, barley, salt if desired and pepper.  Return meat to pan; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours if not using the quick cook barley.  You may need to simmer this long if you are using the boneless beef chuck and not leftover roast.  Add parsley.  About 11 servings.

A steaming bowl with a slice of crusty bread is so satisfying on a cold day.

Create and be happy!