Prep 15 mins
Cook 6 hrs
Inspired by Cooking Light, very hearty yet healthy! Comfort food at it's best and wonderful to come home to on a cold winter's night! We love the strong flavors of the red pepper, garlic and oregano but it can easily be adapted to your own tastes. Suitable for phase 2 of the South Beach Diet. Enjoy!
- 1 1⁄2 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano, divided
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, divided
- 1 teaspoon low sodium salt, divided
- 6 -8 garlic cloves, minced, to taste (I use a small food processor)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes, undrained (Hunts fire roasted)
- 3 celery ribs, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄2 cup pearl barley, sorted and rinsed
- 48 ounces chicken broth (low sodium, low fat)
- 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced (can substitute with regular button mushrooms)
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped (optional)
- 1 (14 ounce) can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
- Season the stewing beef with half of the oregano, crushed red pepper and salt. Sear each side in a very hot non stick frying pan (no oil) until nicely browned (on high heat).
- When liquid begins to emerge from beef add the onion and mix well. Cook 5 minutes more until onion begins to soften. Add half the garlic and mix well. Cook an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes, celery & bay leaf, stir to mix well. Pour this mixture into a crockpot or heavy bottomed stock pot.
- Add the barley and stir.
- Add the chicken broth, mushrooms, beans, carrots and remaining garlic & spices, to taste.
- Stir well and cook in a crockpot on high heat 6-8 hours, or simmer on stove top, 1 1/2-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Check for seasonings and adjust as needed.
- Serve with a hearty grain bread toasted with low fat cheese.
Everyone loves this soup! At home, at work, everywhere I've taken this soup it has been a big hit. Easy to make and a really great comfort food!