Cheap Eats: beef, vegetable and barley soup

Continuing with my cheap eats theme, we often have Soup Wednesday.  It came from when I used to do an aqua aerobics class at 7pm on a Wednesday. I would come home from work, put the ingredients in the slow cooker, and when I got home the soup would be ready to warm me up.

When Ben moved in I kept with soup night, even though we go straight to the gym from work, and finish early.  It is usually a quick and simple dinner and gives us the rest of the evening.

This week I was inspired by our trip to Germany to make a hearty beef and vegetable soup. I cooked up some pearl barley the night before to ensure it would be a quick and easy dinner. I used extra lean minced beef, pearl barley, celery, chopped tomatoes and I threw in some leftover chickpeas.  I flavoured both of mine with my Halzephron Hungarian Magyar spice mix:

Ingredients: Smoked Paprika, Cayenne, Garlic, Basil, Oregano, Bay, Black Pepper, Cardamom, Ginger, Rosemary, Parsley, Marjoram, Thyme

beef, barley, celery, tomato, nutritional yeast

Beef and barley soup

I made Ben a heartier version with potato, carrot and topped with sauerkraut and Dijon mustard.

BEWARE: barley contains gluten – for a gluten free version you could use brown rice

beef, barley, soup, sauerkraut, GermanBeef, vegetable and Barley soup

Cook some pearl barley (I cooked it the night before). In a frying pan sweat off celery, carrots and potatoes (if using). Add in some extra lean beef mince and cook down.  Add in tinned chopped tomatoes.  Add water or stock and leave to simmer.  Towards the end of cooking stir in the pearl barley and any chickpeas or beans to heat through.  Add more liquid if necessary.  For a thicker soup remove a third of the soup and blend.  Return to the pan and stir in.  Serve and top with Nutritional yeast or sauerkraut and Dijon Mustard

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