My grandma used to make this with homemade bread all the time. This isn't her recipe, though. I was missing her badly a couple of years ago and tried to come up with something decent. I took the Quaker recipe and changed it a bit. This is what I got.
If you're a Michigander then you are more than likely bracing for the snow storm of the century that is supposedly headed our way. We'll see. So tuck yourself into your warm home tonight, and count your blessings with some homemade soup.
You will need:
1 lbs. lean ground beef- I've also used leftover roast and that is by far the best route to go.
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic- pressed or minced
5 cups water- this is to start with. Don't be afraid to add more if the soup gets thicker than you would like, because I'm not too sure about this part. I don't usually measure.
2 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup barley- I use the Quaker quick barley. Certain types of barley can require soaking, so go with the quick barley.
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced carrots
2 T beef bouillon or soup base (LB Jamison's beef soup base is the best in my opinion)
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, brown the meat. Add onion and garlic, cook until onion is tender. Drain if necessary. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. Keep the pot covered. You just want to cook the celery and the carrots to your liking. For us it's usually 30-40 minutes. We like our soup vegetables very tender.