Join Me in My Addiction!

Thank you for visiting my blog...and for allowing me to share with you my addiction. I love to collect recipes. I love to read cookbooks. I have been collecting recipes for as long as I can remember, and on any given day there are one or two (or more!) cookbooks residing on my nightstand!

This blog is chronicling my adventure as I fulfill my resolution of trying (at least) one new recipe each week. I hope that you enjoy!

I invite you to join me in my journey, simply by clicking the "Join this Site" link below. And please feel free to comment on any of the recipes, and pin away. Thanks, I look forward to sharing with you!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beef Barley Soup - Slow Cooker Thursday

Welcome to the second installment of "Slow Cooker Thursday!"  If you missed last week's post and story why I've implemented "Slow Cooker Thursday", just click over here :-)

When I picked the "Busy Day Beef and Barley Soup" recipe from my new Best of Bridge Slow Cookers cookbook, I had no idea that day would be a "beef" day everywhere I looked!  I say that because a friend from work and I had lunch together, and because she didn't have time to make her lunch before leaving for the office, she needed to grab lunch from the cafeteria/culinary training facility.  I was laughing because at the sandwich station, the special was "Roast Beef Sandwiches".  At the main course/hot food station, one of the specials was "Beef Stroganoff," and at the soup station, one of the soups was "Beef Barley Soup".  Apparently the Chefs/Instructors were in a beefy mood like me!  I do have to say though, my soup looked way better than the students' soup...just sayin'!

Here is the recipe I used (Source: Best of Bridge Slow Cookers)

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 lbs stewing beef
1/4 cup barley, rinsed
4-5 cups beef broth
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

In a saucepan, saute oil, garlic, onions, oregano, salt, pepper, tomato paste.  Saute until the onions are softened.  Transfer to 4-6 quart slow cooker.  Add in the carrots, bay leaves, beef, barley and 4 cups of the beef broth.  Stir well.  Cover and cook, on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours, or until the beef and barley are tender.  After cooking, if the soup is thicker than you would like, add in the remaining 1 cup of broth.  Stir in the frozen peas, vinegar and parsley.  Cover and cook on high until the peas are hot, about 20 minutes.  Remove bay leaves.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tips directly from the Best of Bridge: 
- They use tomato paste in many of their slow cooker recipes because it boosts flavour and richness.  A dollop or two of tomato paste makes a significant flavour difference with onions, garlic and herbs as these aromatic ingredients dull when cooked for long periods.
- If you cannot find stewing beef, look for other cuts such as boneless cross-rib, blade or chuck in the form of steaks or pot roasts.  Trim off excess fat and cut into cubes.
*Great tips!
Hubs LOVED this soup. Kept commenting how much he enjoyed it.  I really liked it did our kids.  The oldest complained a bit (apparently he doesn't like soup for dinner) but he still ate it a few times LOL.  Even our sometimes fussy toddler was gobbling up his meal...I'd call this one a success!

You can purchase the Best of Bridge Slow Cookers cookbook through Robert Rose.  Go check them out!

Excerpted from Best of Bridge Slow Cooker Cookbook by Sally Vaughan-Johnston & The Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. © 2012 All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.


  1. Such a wonderful, heartwarming dish!
    Thanks for sharing at Foodie friends Friday! Come back Sunday to vote!

  2. Looks delicious! Just what I need for this rainy weather

  3. Mmmmm...looks so good! THanks for sharing at Must Try Monday!

  4. I love the addition of the vinegar. I bet it really perked up the soup. Thanks for sharing on Thursdays Treasures.

  5. This soup looks delicious! I love finding new soup recipes that I can make this time of year :) Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday. Can’t wait to see what you share this week! Have a wonderful rest of the week


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