Barley-Beef Soup

Ingredients

12 oz beef or lamb stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 TBSP cooking oil
4 14 oz cans beerf broth
1 cup onion, chopped (1 large)
1/2 cup celery, chopped (1 stalk)
1 tsp dried oregano or basil, crushed
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup 1/2 inch slices peeled parsnips (or cubed pelled potatoes
2/3 to 1 cup quick cooking barley

Directions

In a Dutch oven brown meat in hot oil. Stir in broth, onions, celery, oregano, pepper, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer covered about 1 1/2 hours for beef (45 minutes for lamb). Stir in frozen vegetables, undrained tomatoes, parsnip and barley. Return to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer covered about 15 minutes or more until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

Slow-cooker directions: Substitute regular barley for quick cooking barley. In a large skillet, brown cubed beef in hot oil. Drain off fat. In a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker, combine beef and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat seeting for 4 to 5 hours.

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