We like soup and this one has everything my husband likes. I occasionally use a pint of Home canned Hamburger Mix instead of the fresh ground beef and tomato paste to make this even faster, along with Home-canned Beef Stock. I don’t bother to peel the potato. Notice that the barley and potato are only half servings; so you don’t really get too much starch. If you don’t like barley (but you’re missing out), try rice instead.
Creamy Beef Barley Soup
1/2 pound ground beef
4 large fresh mushrooms -- sliced
1 celery rib -- chopped
1 small onion -- chopped
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 Pints Beef Broth -- or two 14 1/2 oz cans
2 medium carrots -- sliced
1 large potato -- cubed
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Quick Barley
1/2 Cup Half and Half -- or evaporated milk
2 tablespoons tomato paste
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook and stir the beef, mushrooms, celery and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add broth. Stir in the carrots, potato, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil. Stir in barley.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until barley is tender. Whisk in half and half and tomato paste; heat through.
Yield: 4 servings.