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In the Slow Cooker: Vegetable Leek Beef Barley Soup

It’s time to dust off that slow cooker or crockpot! This hearty soup will get you in the spirit of the fall season.


  • 3.5 lbs boneless chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cubed 1/2 inch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pat of butter
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cups, crimini mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 red potato (optional, more if you love potatoes) cubed 1/2 inch
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup – dry red wine
  • 1 28 oz can – diced organic tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup  pearled barley
  • 4 cups organic chicken broth
  • 4 cups organic beef broth
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat large skillet on stovetop.  Pat beef cubes very dry (they will brown easier if dry on a pre-heated skillet)  Once skillet is hot, add olive oil (should be shimmering and lightly smoking)  Add beef and brown quickly on all sides.  Brown in two batches so that beef isn’t crowded during browning – add more olive oil if needed.  Place browned beef in slow-cooker.

Add butter to same skillet.  The skillet should have remnants and browned bits from browning the beef.  Add onions, carrots, celery and leeks.  Saute until soft (about 7-8 minutes) Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Add red wine.  Scrap up all browned bits from bottom of skillet.  Pour sauteed vegetables in slow cooker with beef.  If  adding mushrooms, use the same pan to saute’ mushrooms until soft and juices are rendered (about 10 minutes) then add to slow cooker.

Add tomatoes (with juices), pearled barley, thyme, broths and bay leaf to slow cooker.  Set to cook for 7-8 hours on low.  Cook until beef is very tender.  Add chopped parsley 20 minutes before serving.



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