Having just discovered that my rice cooker was also a slow cooker, I decided to experiment. My favourite soup is beef barley but it does take a lot of time if it is made from scratch. The meat needs to be boiled down to make it tender and the barley needs to cook till its soft. Using a slow cooker reduces the risk of having your soup boil down to nothing and also there is less of a likely chance that things would burn. A slow cooker makes this soup easy!!
I don’t normally use a recipe when making beef barley soup but I decided to find one for slow cookers. The great thing about slow cooking meats is that any tough cut can turn tender and delicious. Thats one of the reasons for my love of beef barley soup.
The first step is to sear some stewing beef. The sear will give the beef a nice crust. Make sure not to move the beef to quickly so that it has time to brown on each side. Another tip is to not overcrowd the pan. This will prevent it from browning properly (the picture below is overcrowded and I was disappointed with the browning).
Set the beef aside once you get a nice brown crust. Some of the meat would not be cooked and thats ok! Cut the carrots and celery and place it in the slow cooker. Place the meat on top.
The other ingredients; barley, garlic powder, green onions, parsley and season with salt and pepper. The last ingredients will be the oil, broth and water.
Set the slow cooker for 6-8 hours and walk away!! When you get home from work or day out, you can come home to a delicious bowl of soup. Remember to freshen the soup by adding fresh thyme before serving. Serve it with some bread and you have yourself a quick and easy meal!! Enjoy!
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1 1/2 pounds boneless lean beef, cubed
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 (10.5 ounce) cans beef broth
6 cups water
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup barley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
|1.||In a skillet over medium heat, saute the beef in the oil for 5 minutes, or until browned. Stir in the salt, pepper and garlic powder and place seasoned meat in a slow cooker. Add a little water to the skillet and stir to pick up the browned bits. Add to the slow cooker.|
|2.||Add the broth, water, celery, carrots, green onions, parsley and barley. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables and barley are tender. Add the thyme just before serving.|