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Hearty Beef Vegetable Soup

In my opinion, soup makes a wonderful meal, as it is often the combination of protein (meat, poultry, and/or beans), vegetables (and lots of them!), and a starch/grain of some sort (rice, noodles, quinoa, barley, etc.).  Additionally, soups are typically economical, filling, and able to be frozen and re-heated well.  Over the years, I have shared the recipes for a variety of the soups I make most often, but somehow missed this one.  I often combine fresh and frozen vegetables, depending on what I have on hand and what is in season when I am making the soup.  I also tend to not measure my vegetable quantities, so the amounts below are an estimate.  Use whatever suits you best! 

Ingredients
  • ~2 TBSP canola oil
  • 1 to 1.5 cups each of: diced carrots, celery, and onion
  • 1 bag of frozen green beans (or fresh equivalent)
  • 1 bag of frozen peas (or fresh equivalent)
  • ~1 to 1.5 cups diced potato
  • ~1.5 cups frozen corn (or fresh equivalent)
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • ~3 c of cooked, diced beef (I used the meat from the heel of round roast; meat from any beef roast, soup bone, or stew meat would be great)
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
  • ~6 cups of homemade beef stock, plus ~4 c water; if using commercially-prepared stock, omit the water and use the full ~10 cups of stock
  • 4 c tomato juice
  • salt and pepper to taste (for homemade stock, you will need ~3-4 tsp of salt; more or less, depending on your tastes)
  • ~1 cup barley, if desired
Directions
In a large stock pot, add the oil over medium-heat.  Sweat the carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes for about 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.  Once beginning to become tender, add the other vegetables (corn, peas, green beans, tomatoes, etc.), add the stock/water, tomato juice, meat, and parsley.  Increase temperature to high and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables reach desired tenderness (~20 minutes or so).  If adding barley, add to the pot and cook for the length of time indicated on the package.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

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