This is my favourite recipe from the original Best of Bridge cookbook. I thought it was already posted here at Zaar, but since I can't find it I want to make sure it's included; I've only modified it slightly from the original. It's so easy to make and tastes so great!
- 1 1⁄2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
- 1 garlic clove, minced fine (my addition, original recipe uses no garlic)
- 1 (28 ounce) can plum tomatoes, undrained
- 4 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 (10 ounce) can tomato soup
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
- 4 celery ribs, leaves removed and chopped fine (add celery leaves to soup if you wish, I often do)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (original recipe used less, but I love thyme)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (even more is better)
- 1⁄3 cup barley (pearl barley or pot barley, both work fine)
- salt, to taste
- In a large dutch oven, brown meat, adding onions and garlic. When meat has lost its pink colour, drain off any excess fat if there is any visible.
- Add all remaining ingredients, turn heat down to low so soup is barely simmering, cover, and let cook for about 2 hours (even longer is fine). After one hour, taste soup and add salt if necessary.
- If you have leftovers (soup freezes well, so consider making the whole pot even if it's a lot for your family), be aware that it tends to thicken when cool. When reheating, I always add a little more beef broth.