Beef & Barley Soup

     1- 1 1/2 lbs beef chuck, cut in 3/4" cubes

     1 tbsp oil

     1 c chopped onion

     1 c diced carrots

     1/2 c diced celery

     1 clove garlic, minced

     12-16 oz mushrooms, cut in quarters (or smaller)

     3 sprigs thyme

     1/2 c pearl barley, rinsed and drained

     1 can beef broth

     1 can chicken broth

     2 c hot water

     1/8 tsp pepper

     1 tsp salt

     fresh Italian parsley


Heat oil in large skillet.  Saute beef cubes til no longer pink.  Using a slotted spoon, remove meat to 4-quart or larger crock pot.  Add beef broth, cover, and cook on high.  Using same skillet, add onion, carrots, and celery.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add garlic, mushrooms, and thyme.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, place at least half of vegetable mixture in crock pot.  To remaining vegetable mixture, add pearl barley and chicken broth.  Bring to a boil then add to crock pot, along with hot water, pepper, and salt.  Cook on high for 5 hours.  Remove thyme sprigs before serving.  Garnish with parsley.

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