Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beef & Barley Soup

Last week I sort of threw together a new recipe from my pantry, and it turned out pretty good, so I wanted to share it with you.  I also will tell you a couple things I might would do differently next time.

I had some beef shank in the freezer that I wanted to use up, and I had some barley in the pantry that I wanted to use up, so I decided...hey, why not beef & barley soup.

I had seen some barley recipes listed in my freezer cookbooks so I figured that it should freeze relatively well, so I decided to make a whole crock-pot full.  (Note:  I've not tried any that's been frozen as of yet.)

The night before, I set out my ingredients (because if it's not in front of my face I tend to forget until around lunchtime, and that's too late to start a slow cooker recipe!)

I was just sort of making this up on the fly, so I grabbed a few "soupy" ingredients.  When we eat vegetables plain, we prefer them fresh or frozen, so I use any canned vegetables I buy for soups and other such dishes.  So I grabbed a can of mixed vegetables, a can of corn, two cans of beef broth, and a can of diced tomatoes to go along with my pack of barley.  (I left the beef in the fridge for the night, obviously.)

In the morning, I put my meat in the crockpot, poured in all these ingredients, and filled it to the top with water.  Then I seasoned it up a bit.

I used the whole pack of barley, and this is what I ended up with.  It didn't seem like that much when I poured it in, but it swelled alot and soaked up a lot of the liquid, and the consistency was much thicker than a normal soup, although it was still quite tasty, and very hearty.  (Side Note:  5 year olds think hearty means "full of hearts" as evidenced by mine using that word to describe her classes Valentine's festivities.)

Next time I make this, I will go a little bit lighter on the barley (maybe half a bag?) and use a bit more beef and veggies.

We ate this for two meals, and I put two more meals into the freezer, so here is the cost break down, and then we will divide it by 4 to get the per meal cost.

Beef shank @$1.19/lb =$3.80
Barley= $0.99
5 cans that I paid no more than $0.50 each for = $2.50

Total:  $7.29 for 4 meals    or   $1.82 per meal (to feed a family of 4--$0.46/person!)

The best part was that I "cooked" once--and by cook, I mean I tossed stuff in a pot and turned a knob--and I can eat 4 times!  I love freezer meals!  =)


Erika @ My Road to Savings February 15, 2012 at 11:07 PM  

I made a Beef Barley Soup and for us we used only about 3/4 cup barley. You are right that barley really swells up. I bet it was very yummy! I am a soup fanatic :) My family is starting to object to my 2 soups per week plan ;)

Amanda February 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM  

I left a comment here last night and now it's gone. =( I tried to comment on your post Erika, but the page crashed. Computers don't like me lately!

Erika @ My Road to Savings February 18, 2012 at 12:16 AM  

LOL...I know how that goes. Hopefully your weekend goes better :) Have a lovely weekend!

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