Beef and Barley Soup
2T. Olive Oil
3 Onions, minced
1/4c. Tomato Paste
1T. Fresh Thyme, minced or 3/4t. dried
1/2c. Beef or Chicken Stock
1 (28oz) can Crushed Tomatoes
4c. Beef Broth (can substitute Chicken)
4 Carrots, chopped
2c. Spinach, chopped
1/3c. Soy Sauce
2 pounds Beef steak, trimmed
Heat oil in 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, tomato paste, and thyme and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of Beef stock and transfer to slow cooker.
I made a rue to add some creaminess and thickness (it made a huge difference in the soup - I would highly suggest it). Start by browning about 1/4c. Butter in a sauce pan, whisk in 1/4c. Flour and slowly stir in about 2 cups of milk or broth - you may need a little more. Once smooth and creamy, add to the crockpot.
Stir tomatoes, beef broth, carrots, mushrooms, soy sauce and barley into slow cooker. Season beef with salt and pepper and nestle into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 on high.
Transfer beef to cutting board and shred into bite size pieces. Add spinach to slow cooker along with the meat.
Taste before serving to see if you need any additional seasonings. If you need more broth in your soup, just add water.
*I doubled this recipe for our family of 10.