If I could eat soup (and pizza) every day I would. As a parent, I love when a meal includes vegetables, a whole grain & protein, all wrapped up in one dish.
My favorite thing to do with homemade soup is fill freezable jars with single servings. If you haven’t frozen anything in glass jars, you are looking for the jar that has no “shoulder” on it; a jar that is straight up and down. When my freezer is stocked with soup, I can quickly take out to reheat when someone in my family has the onset of a cold or when I need a quick lunch.
Homemade soups that I like to freeze include: beef & barley, tomato basil, chicken noodle (without the pasta – I add that in when I reheat), chili, & butternut squash soup.
I never measure when I make this soup and I am always swapping out vegetables. This means: feel free to play around with the recipe to suit your needs and taste. Sometimes I add beautiful root vegetables like parsnips, rutabaga and/or turnips. Yet, many times I make this with just celery, onion & carrot. Here is my basic version:
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- 1 c carrots, sliced
- 1 small onion, diced
- ¾ c celery, sliced
- ¾ c rutabaga, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 lb beef stew meat
- 2 Tbls fresh herbs (any combination including rosemary, thyme, sage)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (28 oz) can diced or stewed tomatoes
- 6-7 c beef broth
- ½ c pearled barley
- In a medium stock pot, heat olive oil to medium-high heat. Add beef and season with salt & pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes to brown. Add vegetables and herbs and continue to stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add barley. Simmer for at least an hour or up to 2 hours. Remove bay leaf.
- Add broth or seasoning to taste.
- Cool leftovers in the refrigerator and then freeze in freezer safe jars.