Saturday, March 24, 2012

Vegetable Beef Soup

(This recipe was originally posted in conjunction with the Meijer Ad Week of 3/25/12 - 3/31/12)

Here in West Michigan, many of us have beef roast for Sunday dinner.  Everyone has their favorite way of cooking it, so I'm not here to tell you how to cook your roast!  But here's a way to use up your leftover roast (assuming you have any!).  Get out your biggest stock pot, because this soup recipe feeds a small army!

4 qts water
5 beef bouillon cubes
1-2 lbs leftover beef roast, shredded or diced
leftover beef gravy, any amount (optional)
2-3 cups sliced carrots
1-2 cups diced onion
4-6 stalks diced celery
3 - 15oz cans diced tomatoes
2 - 10.75oz cans tomato soup
1 - 12-16oz bag frozen corn
1/2 - 16oz bag frozen peas
4 tsp Accent
2 tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
1 1/2 cups barley

Boil together the water and bouillon cubes until the cubes are dissolved.  (Use a wooden spoon to smash the cubes to aid in dissolving.)  Add all remaining ingredients except barley.  Turn up the heat until mixture starts to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally.  Add barley and simmer another hour, stirring occasionally.  Serve with bread and salad.

Options and Tips
  • As you can see by my non-exact measurements, this soup turns out a little different every time.  There are so many options and substitutions you can make...
  • If you have closer to 1 lb of beef left rather than 2 lbs, just add a larger amount of vegetables and/or barley.  I have made this soup with as little as 12 oz of beef before, and it still turned out just fine.
  • If you don't have any gravy left over, make sure to taste the soup right about when you add the barley.  If it doesn't taste beefy enough, add a cup or two of concentrated beef broth (dissolve 2 beef bouillon cubes per cup of water).
  • Barley is found near the rice at most grocery stores.  If it's not there, check by the oatmeal and breakfast grains.  Look on the upper shelves in both areas, because it's not a common took me three sales clerks and 15 minutes to find it the first time! 
  • If you want more starch in your soup, add 2 cups diced potatoes instead of the barley.
  • Mix and match vegetables according to your family's taste.  If you don't like peas, just add more carrots instead.  I've even used frozen cauliflower and broccoli instead of corn and peas, and although the result wasn't classic vegetable beef soup, it still tasted fine.
  • Notice there is no salt in this recipe.  That's because the leftover gravy, beef bouillon cubes, and Accent all add plenty of salty flavor.  However, if you like things really salty, you might want to add some salt at the table.
  • Remember I said that this soup will feed a small army?  The last time we had this soup for supper, we had enough left over for three more family-sized meals, plus three individual portions for lunches.  Granted, our four kids are ages 2-10, but they usually eat two servings of this soup!

This is an original recipe, loosely based on the Vegetable Beef Soup recipe found on page 345 of Hull PRCS Bountiful Blessings cookbook.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED this! My husband is not a big fan of any kind of soup but I am thrilled w/ all the leftovers...I froze many individual portions and take one of two out each week for lunch for myself. Yum :)