Friday, September 16, 2011

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

Homemade soup is really the ultimate use of leftover items.  You can mix and match all your ingredients just the way you want with whatever you have in your kitchen.  It is also very low-calorie as long as you leave things like butter and cream out.  I figured out this soup made about 6 big servings at about 250 calories per serving, but the sodium is a bit high*.  Last night I was being lazy and didn't want to make what I had on my weekly menu, considering it was a crockpot recipe I would've had to start in the morning.  It was about 4pm and Ava had TaeKwonDo, so I figured I'd better whip up something that could basically simmer while I was gone (don't worry - Chris was home with the other two kids so I didn't leave my stove unattended).  I had a 1 1/2 pound package of hamburger in the fridge, so I browned the whole thing and saved 2/3 of it for another use and made soup.  It was delicious and it made about the perfect amount for our family of 5.  Just a little bit left over.  Here's how I made it last night and you can revise it however you want with whatever veggies you have on hand.  I never go by a recipe when I make homemade soup.  I just 'throw stuff in the pot'.  So I had to make sure to write this down while my memory was fresh because I know not everyone is a 'dump-cook' like me.  ENJOY!!

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup

1/2 pound hamburger
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed small
1 cup chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh peas
1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tomato sauce cans water
2 teaspoons beef base (you can use bouillon if you don't have base, just measure out accordingly)
1/2 cup barley (I have medium pearled barley on hand at all times)

Brown hamburger with onion and garlic.  Drain grease if there is any and add all the rest of the ingredients and let simmer about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Serve with crackers or crusty bread. 

*Nutritional info - Makes about 6 larger servings (about 2 ladles-full in your soup bowl):
Calories - 249, Fat - 3.3g, Cholesterol - 29mg, Sodium - 929mg, Carbs - 39.4, Fiber - 8.7g, Protein - 16.8g.

I get my nutritional information from: Calorie Counter

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