Beef, Bean, Barley & Sweet Pepper Soup
A good hearty colorful winter soup that’s healthy, full of flavor, fiber, protein and antioxidants. It cheers your soul with the colors, your tastebuds with the comforting flavors, and your body with all the wonderful healthy fiber and nutrients.
With all the good broth resulting from my Outta the Park Crockpot BBQ Beef Sandwiches I made the other day, I just had to make soup. You don’t have to make the BBQ sandwiches to make this soup, but it makes it easier (and you get two meals from one!) I wanted a good, hearty yet healthy winter soup that I could feel good about eating. This is what I ended up with. It was good the first time I ate it, but even better the next day after the flavors had time to “meld” with each other in the fridge.
The tomatoes in the salsa help clarify the broth, and then gives it a tiny kick that isn’t really spicy but it adds a bit of interesting wonder to the soup.
- 1/2 of an onion, peeled & chopped
- 2 - 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup of cooked lean beef (or wild game) in small chunks (or more ... I just saved out a bit of the cooked meat before adding the BBQ sauce when I made my Crockpot BBQ Beef)
- 1/2 cup celery stalks, chopped
- 2 - 3 cups of beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup of cooked white beans (canned is ok, I cooked my own)
- 1/3 cup quick-cooking barley UNCOOKED
- 1 Tablespoon of salsa
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Robin Seasoning (or your favorite seasoned salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon Frank's hot sauce (or hot sauce of your choice)
- 1/2 cup chopped sweet pepper
- 1 cup of celery leaves, chopped coarsely
- If you are starting with the broth and a bit of the beef resulting from my Outta the Park crockpot BBQ beef sandwiches (recipe here), you are a step ahead of the game! Sautee your celery in a saucepan over medium heat in just a dab of olive oil or butter till softened slightly. Then add your broth & meat that you reserved from the crockpot and proceed to step 3.
- If you are NOT starting from that recipe, briefly sautee your onion and garlic in a tish of butter or olive oil (like 1/2 teaspoon) until the onion is soft and translucent. Add in the broth, beef and bay leaf.
- Stir in the cooked beans, uncooked barley, salsa, paprika, Red Robin seasoning and hot sauce and let cook for 10 minutes or until the barley is cooked through and everything is good and hot.
- Add the sweet pepper and cook for 5 minutes longer, then add the celery leaves right before serving.
- This soup is even better if you let it cool a bit, put it in a covered container in the fridge and wait until the next day to re-heat and eat it.