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Classic Beef Barley Soup

2/3 cup pearl barley
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion -- chopped
1 garlic clove -- minced
4 carrots -- diced
3 celery ribs -- diced
1 can tomatoes - (28 oz)
3 1/2 cups beef broth - (to 4 cups)
2 cups water
1 can tomato soup - (10 1/2 oz) -- (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup minced parsley
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste


Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic in skillet. Transfer meat mixture to slow cooker; add barley and remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour then on LOW for 5 to 6 hours.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

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