Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Slow Cooker Beefy Barley Bean Soup

I have pneumonia. I need soup.
I threw it all in a slow cooker and hoped for the best-- and it came out damn good.
This is a thick soup... stew-esque. Soup that eats like a meal. Mmmm good.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 hours

Ingredients: (these are all guestimates of the amounts I actually used-- use however much you want of everything-- and feel free to add any dried beans you like- I don't mind at all if you do!)
  • 1-2 lb. (a little less than 1 kilo) beef brisket with all fat trimmed off
  • 1 or 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 1 cup dried large lima beans
  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1 packet onion soup mix-- I could only find French onion soup mix, so that's waht I used
  • 1 cup broth (vegetable, beef, chicken-- not sure it matters)
  • salt
  • water to cover it all
The way I made my soup:
  1. I cut the brisket into about 6 pieces so it would cook easier. I considered cutting up it more, but decided to let it just cook and kind of shred on its own. It will shrink greatly in the crockpot.
  2. I put the meat in first, then added everything else.
  3. Give it a little swirl with a plastic or wooden spoon.
  4. Add enough water to cover everything and then about an inch extra-- you can always add more later if you don't want to put too much in.
  5. Cook in crockpot for 10-12 hours on low (see tips), until beans and meat are tender and delicious--Tip #1: After about 6 hours I skimmed the top of the soup with a large spoon to remove the foamy bubbles from the top-- toss that stuff away. Tip #2: Mine had cooked about 10 hours but I thought it needed more-- it was midnight and I decided to leave it on until the morning on "warm". Turned it off at 8am and it was great.
  6. Before serving, taste-- add salt-- probably will need a few teaspoons of salt. OR don't add salt and let each eater add it themselves... but definitely add it, cause it will greatly enhance the soup.
  7. Garnish (optional)-- if you have a large grained salt, you can garnish with a pinch of salt on top.

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