Despite all the trends, old-fashioned comfort food is still a mainstay and this Hamburger Barley Soup is an old reliable. It combines some pretty common pantry items into a hearty and satisfying soup.
I adapted this recipe from one on allrecipes.com many years ago. Before that, I almost never bought barley, but now I make it a habit to have it in the pantry. As well as V8, which I stock in the winter to make my beef stew. Other than that, you probably have the rest of the ingredients on hand right now.
Barley doesn’t get much attention these days, but if you are trying to introduce more good food variety into your diet, barley does the job. The grain contains selenium, which prevents inflammation, according to some. As you’ve probably heard, chronic inflammation is a prime suspect among many serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, even Alzheimer’s. Barley is also considered a rich source for several B vitamins including niacin, thiamin and B-6. (B vitamins are said to have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism). Plus, barley contains beta-glucans, a type of fiber that has been found to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Now, on to the cooking.
First, chop up the vegetables: onion, carrot and celery. (AKA “mirepoix”)
Then, brown the ground beef, add in those vegetables and some barley, and give it all a good stir.
Then, pour in all the liquid: beef broth, water and V8 juice. Add the seasonings, bring it to a boil and let it simmer, covered, for a couple hours.
Since nothing in this soup is exotic or unusual, even your picky eaters will enjoy it. Like many soups, it also makes a great leftover.
Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich and you’ll see smiles all around.
Oh, and oyster crackers. This soup definitely goes well with crackers. 😀
Hamburger Barley Soup
- 1½ lb ground beef
- 1 onion minced
- 4 carrots minced
- 3 celery ribs sliced thin
- ½ cup barley
- 28 oz diced tomatoes
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 12 oz vegetable or tomato juice V8 or similar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 TB dried parsley
- 1 tsp ground garlic
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- Black pepper to taste
- Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking the meat into small crumbles until evenly browned and no longer pink. Drain and discard excess grease.
- Stir in the onion, carrots, celery and barley. Pour in all the liquids and add the seasonings.
- Bring soup mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring frequently.
- Remove bay leaves before serving.