My mother, Virginia Brewer, used to make a soup similar to this for our family but without the barley. She added corn instead. Unfortunately, I don’t have my mother’s recipe but this is the closest one I have been able to find that tastes like hers. Served with homemade corn muffins, you have a hearty, satisfying winter meal.
- 1 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 (14½-oz.) can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with juice
- ½ cup pearl barley, thoroughly rinsed
- 4 cups beef stock or broth
- 1 cup water
- ¼ tsp. dried thyme
- ¼ tsp. dried marjoram
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Makes 6 servings.
1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the meat, onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until vegetables and barley are tender, about 1 hour. Remove bay leaf and discard. Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed.
Source: The Big Book of Soups & Stews by Maryana Vollstedt