It’s soup weather. And there’s not much I love more than to come home from work on chilly rainy days to dinner already hot and ready to eat. This is why I think the slow cooker was one one of the greatest inventions ever.
It was particularly nice since I had to work late earlier this week. (A funny story though… It almost didn’t happen. I realized during lunch that I forgot to actually turn on the crockpot and had to run home and do that. Luckily I live only a few miles from where I work. First time that’s ever happened.) These kinds of evenings, I’m just not in the mood to cook. I just want to come home and put on sweats and eat a hot bowl of stew.
I think I found this recipe for Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Soup from the Picky Palate blog on Pinterest.You remember my binder busting at the seams with recipes. Most of the time, I can’t remember where I got the recipe from. My pinterest feed is mostly full of mouth-watering pictures of food. It’s pure torture for me to look at it right before lunch.
At any rate, I’m sure what grabbed me about this particular recipe were the words “slow cooker.” And since I have a half a beef in my freezer now, I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting ways to make beef.
PROJECT RECIPE verdict: Keeper! It was ridiculously easy. (Slow cooker cooking usually is.) It was hearty and chunky right out of the slow cooker, and it only got better the longer it has been leftover. We are still eating on it. The Hubs even commented on how it like that it was something different. It was a little heavy on the mushroom flavor (and I really like mushrooms), so next time I might halve what is called for. I almost didn’t brown off the meat before adding it as a time saver, but I’m glad I did because that thickened the soup and made it luscious and silky. Since I have a freezer full o’beef from the half beef we bought earlier this fall, this recipe will definitely be in the rotation again very soon.
How I changed the recipe: I omitted the zucchini because I didn’t have any. I also didn’t cook the vegetables before putting them in the slow cooker. I just dumped them all right in. I also used one quart of venison stock and one quart of vegetable stock, because that’s what I had on hand.