Vegetable Barley Beef Soup
As a kid, I used to love Mom’s vegetable soup! It was one of my favorite foods back then and it still is today. It was the perfect comfort food to me in the fall and winter and I always eagerly looked forward to her cooking it.
Mom never followed a recipe for her vegetable soup but, I watched and helped her enough times and then jotted it all down, just for safekeeping. It contained simple fresh vegetables and herbs combined with barley in a tomato juice base. The ingredients all pull together for a great taste and vibrant, rich colors.
This vegetable soup is cooked in stages; it is all not just dropped into the pot and the cooking process takes a while, depending on how large the pieces of vegetables are. So, it is not a soup that you can just decide to cook an hour or two before dinner. I cook the vegetables until they are tender, not soft and mushy. It makes a large amount of soup but, I give Bubba and Matt a large pan of it and then have enough left to freeze for a couple of meals for Bill and me.
Back years ago when Mom served it, we always enjoyed it with saltine crackers; however, I adore it with a crusty Italian bread to sop up all the juices in the bottom of the bowl. It would be great with cornbread also. This is a very filling soup and fills our tummies with pleasure! This soup satisfies the soul!