Quick and Easy Beef Stew Soup

There’s nothing more comforting on cold days that a warm bowl of delicious soup! This is a recipe I make all of the time because it is so fast and easy, especially of you are using canned food or dehydrated or freeze dried food. And you know me, I don’t measure anything when I am cooking, and I make abnormally large pots of soup, so this will be a different kind of recipe format…you can make as little or as much as you’d like. I think you will love this soup!!
Here are the ingredients that I throw in a big pot: (Use whatever amount you like. See my notes.)

Beef bouillon cubes or granules
Salt, Pepper
Tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes (or any kind of tomato product you like to use. I like a quart of home canned plain tomato juice from the garden)
Onions (freshly diced, or dried)
Potatoes, diced
Carrots, cut (fresh or canned)
Barley (optional)
Beef (fresh, canned, or freeze dried)

1. I fill the pot with almost as much water as I would like to have soup. Did that make sense? I also add the tomato juice, sauce or crushed tomatoes….whatever tomato product you like. You can also use tomato powder. Turn it on and start it boiling while you get everything else ready to add in.

2. Add some bouillon cubes or granules to taste. And some salt and pepper.

3. Throw in the onion. I always use dried onions. Use as many or as little as you’d like. 

4. Put in your carrots. I grew carrots and canned them, but I also have used store bought canned carrots, or fresh sliced. 

5. Cut up as many potatoes as you would like. I usually think of at least one good sized potato per person and I double it. (I feed teenage boys!)

6. Add the beef. Most of the time I use a few cans of the yummy canned beef from Aldi’s. It comes with a gravy, and I add all of it to the soup. You can cut up raw beef and throw it right into the soup. Or you can use freeze dried beef and throw it right into the soup. It turns out great either way.

7. I really love barley. so most of the time I add a little barley to this soup.For my very huge pot of soup, I only add about 1 1/2 cups, so you may want to add about 1/2 cup at the most. Barley absorbs a lot of water, so make sure you have enough water in the soup as the barley cooks. Add more water if needed.

8. Make sure the soup has enough salt while it is cooking. If it doesn’t, add more salt or bouillon.

9. Let the soup simmer on medium high until potatoes are done. Serve with crusty bread. YUM!

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