Beef / Barley Soup

    • 1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
    • 2 tbsp. Flour
    • 4 qt. Water (16 cups)
    • 3 cups Potato (diced very small)
    • 1 cup Barley
    • 1 small Onion (chopped finely)
    • 2 tbsp. Dark Soya Sauce
    • 2 tsp. Salt
    • 3/4 tsp. Black Pepper
    • 1/4 tsp. Celery Seed
    • 1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
    • 2 - Bay Leaves
  • Lightly brown the beef.
  • Use the drippings from the beef, the flour and about 2 cups of the water to make a gravy... it should be brown and nicely thickened.
  • Boil the water in a large stock pot.
  • Put the gravy and all the remaining ingredients into the water.
  • Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. This will take a few hours.
  • Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove from the fridge, remove the fat and the bay leaves, and re-heat the soup.
  • Serve it hot, or put it in containers to freeze.
Re: the gravy: I have tried adding the flour to the water when I bring everything up to a boil but it is not the same as if I make the gravy first. I don't know why. Just trust me. The way I wrote it here works best.

If it is prepared properly, this is one of those great home-made soups guaranteed to, on a cold winter day, leave you feeling well fed, warmed up, and ready for a nap! It is not really the kind of recipe that you should use when you decide at lunchtime what to make for supper. This one takes a full day (including overnight) to really make it properly. But with a bit of planning, it is well worth the wait. I make it one afternoon with the intention of serving it the next day. Time is what makes it great. I hope you enjoy it.

Also, please ... use all the drippings when you make the gravy. When you take the soup out of the fridge the next day, the fat will all be on top in one crusty layer, simply remove it and discard it. The fat helps all the flavours blend. It does make a difference in the flavor to do it this way.