Monday, January 10, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Beef-Less, Barley & Vegetable Soup

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We're still figuring out this new camera... Sigh.

When I was a little eater, I loved Beef with Barley soup from a can. My dad would make it for meals he was left in charge of, and always served it with those cheddar goldfish crackers. I had this systematic way of eating it that took forever, but basically involved eating every little pea, barley, cheesy goldfish or whatever one at a time. Even then though, I skipped the few tiny meat bits. I wanted the soup to last as long as possible. So when I saw this recipe in Betty's Big Red, the 10 year old in me smiled and said, "You owe me this for all the spelling tests I worked so hard on, and since you discovered spell check, quickly forgot about."

This soup is much better than anything you could get from a can. It also includes an ingredient I'm pretty sure wasn't in my childhood favorite: Bell Peppers. I used to love bell peppers on sandwiches, especially red ones, but over the years we drifted away from them. Maybe it was the price, or maybe because they don't always last long in VA humidity even if you put them in the fridge. It's hard to say. But one of the many positive impacts The Betty Crocker Project has had on our lives is the reintroducing of bell peppers into our routine. She uses them a lot and I'm glad she does. Even after this project wraps, The Shannon household will still be a pro-peppers zone. Also don't forget to pick up some Eco-Planet Non-Dairy Cheddar Crackers. They're vegan and just as good as those cheddary cheesy goldfish. The recipe below has the Stew Pot and Slow Cooker versions... Viva la Pimienton Revolucion!

Beef-less, Barley & Vegetable Soup

  • 1 Package Gardein Beef-Less Tips
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
  • 1 Red Onion (chopped)
  • 3/4 Cup Frozen Green Beans
  • 2/3 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 2/3 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 2/3 Cup White Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2/3 Cup Uncooked Barley
  • 5 Cups Better Than Bouillon - Vegan Beef (made per instructions on the package)
  • 3 Tablespoons Braggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley (diced)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes (Italian flavor with garlic & basil)
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Slow Cooker:
In a 4-5 quart slow cooker, mix all ingredients except Gardein and 1/2 of the diced Red Onion. Cover and cook on low heat setting for 8 hours to 8 1/2 hours. You'll know it's ready when the Barley is tender.

Stew Pot:
In a large stew pot, mix all ingredients except Gardein and 1/2 of the diced Red Onion. Cover and simmer on a low to medium heat for 9 hours or until the Barley is tender. Be sure and stir the pot occasionally.

About 15-20 minutes before you're ready to serve your soup, heat oven to 400.

In a glass baking dish, place your Gardein in first and then cover with a layer of the diced Red Onion. Bake the Gardein and Red Onion for around 10 minutes or until both the Gardein and Red Onion are golden brown and tender.

To serve, fill your bowl with soup and then add the roasted Red Onion and Gardein. Enjoy!

Also, if you have leftovers, I would suggest storing the Gardein separately from the Soup so it doesn't get soggy.


  1. i can't wait to try this. this is my first time commenting but i love your recipes! too bad i went to the grocery store today, but next time. thanks!

  2. looks great. wanted to suggest using Nutrella (large TVP) chunks that are available at Indian grocery stores. We use it in soup and my kids like it and it is very affordable. And since it is sold dry, you can stock up on it and have it on hand for...whenever.

    Clever blog, btw.