Send your kids out this Halloween with a belly full of wholesome vegetable beef barley soup when they go trick-or-treating this year, or save it to warm them up when they get home.
It’s finally Halloween, and it’s a big Halloween for us. Today is actually my due date for baby number two, but we were lucky enough to meet him a week early, which makes this our very first Halloween as a family of four. We’re already comfy at home and getting back into the swing of things. I’ll be sharing more about our newest addition later this week.
I’m so happy Ellie isn’t missing out on the festivities because Halloween was always one of my favorite holidays. I think it’s because it’s was filled with excitement and I associate it with the coziness of fall. I have so many great childhood Halloween memories, and I’ve always loved it. This year, Ellie decided months in advance, and our little bat witch will be trick-or-treating with her dad while her brother and I hand out candy tonight.
Those memories include a big bowl of healthy vegetable beef barley soup before we went out hunting for candy and warm apple crisp for dessert when we got back. We had it every single year (as far as I can remember at least), and when I moved away with Marc, I started making it myself. I published it a few years back, while we were living in France, but since the photos were rather unappetizing and I used French ingredients in the original recipe, I thought I’d revisit the recipe and update it a bit.
Vegetable Beef Barley Soup
Yield 8 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons beef base (or 2 bouillon cubes)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup quick-cooking barley (uncooked)
- 1 12-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
- In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium-high. Add stew meat and brown.
- Once beef has browned, add garlic water, beef base, bay leaf, and salt & pepper.
- Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Adjust seasonings, if needed.