Beef Vegetable and Barley Soup



Servings - ( approx. 6 quarts ) 12   Serving Size - approx. 1 1/2 cups   Points Plus per Serving - 4 Points+ 
Calories - 190.8,   Total Fat - 3.9g,   Carb. - 21.7g,  Protein - 16g,   Fiber - 5.2g


12 oz. Beef, sirloin, cut into small cubes 
1 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cups sliced carrots
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine
16 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
2 - 32 oz. boxes of fat free beef flavored broth ( such as Pacific brand ) 
2 - 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
3/4 cup quick cooking pearled barley
10 oz. frozen peas
salt and pepper, as you like


1.  In large dutch oven ( I love my cast iron enamel coated one ), heat oil.  Season beef cubes with salt and pepper and brown in hot pan.  Once browned, remove and set aside. Leave heat on pan. 
2. Add onion, carrots and celery to pan.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Saute until the onion starts to become translucent and the other veggies begin to soften.  Add in the garlic and saute another minute or so, until it becomes fragrant.  Add in the mushrooms and cook until they start to soften.  Stir in the tomato paste and allow it to coat the vegetables and cook a bit.  Add in the wine and stir, stirring up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan from the beef.  Add in the thyme and bay leaf. 
3.  Add in the canned tomatoes and both boxes of beef broth and add the browned beef cubes back into the pan.  Allow the soup to come to a boil and then turn down to simmer.  Simmer until the vegetables and the meat become tender.  ( I think I simmered for about an hour or so).  
4. Once the vegetables and meat are tender, stir in the barley and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes to allow barley to cook.  Once the barley is done, add the frozen peas and cook for another few minutes until they are done.  
5.  Remove bay leaf and discard.  Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.  

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