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Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup

This is a wonderful treat on a chilly day.

  Makes 4 servings
  Prep Time:30 minutes
  Total Time: 2 hrs (4 -8 hours in a slow cooker)
  Ease of Preparation: Easy

Ingredients
  1 tablespoon cooking oil
  6 ounces lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  2 cans (14 oz) lower-sodium beef broth
  ½ cup chopped onion
  ¼ cup chopped celery
  ½ teaspoon dried oregano or basil, crushed
  1 cloves garlic, minced
  1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1 bay leaf
  ½ cup frozen mixed vegetables
  1 can (14.5 oz) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  ½ cup parsnip or potato, cut into ½-inch-thick slices or cubes
  1/3 cup quick-cooking barley

Preparation

1. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add meat; cook and stir until meat is browned. Stir in broth, onion, celery, oregano, garlic, pepper, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1½ hours.

2. Stir in frozen vegetables, undrained tomatoes, parsnip, and barley. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes more or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

3. Slow-cooker directions: Substitute regular barley for quick-cooking barley. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add meat; cook and stir until meat is browned. Drain off fat. In a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker, combine meat and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

Nutritional Notes: Calories 180; Total Fat 4g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 430mg; Carbohydrate 23g; Fiber 5g; Protein 14g