Simple Beef and Barley Crock Pot Soup for Two

We are having a real cold snap here in Michigan this past week.  It has been in the teens (Fahrenheit) outside.  COLD!    It was really time to have some comfort foot.

Since we are on a diet, it is hard to have comfort food and still fit into your calorie budget, but this seemed to work.   The trick is that you have to trim off all the fat from the chuck roast and go lightly on the barley.   Someone like me who doesn’t get very many calories can only have about a cup of it, so you must have a salad with it.  My husband gets to eat more than I do, so altogether this fed two of us with a little bit left over for his lunch.

Today I whipped up a batch of crock pot soup.  Prep time was about 15 minutes, mostly trimming fat and cutting vegetables.   5 hours later, I had myself a rich, tasty, warming soup fit for a freezing day. Continue reading


Blender Potato and Cheddar Soup


3 med to large Potatoes (Russet, Idaho, Golden, or whatever you have).

1/2 C shredded cheddar

2 Tbsp bacon (optional)

2 c Milk or Half & Half (I use 1 c Milk, 1 C half & half)

Rosemary (to taste) (I use about 1/2 tsp)

Dill Weed (to taste) (I use about 1/2 tsp)

Salt & pepper to taste Continue reading

Ham and Bean Soup

Ham and Bean Soup

  • 16 ounces dried Great Northern beans
  • 1 cup diced sweet yellow onion
  •  3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken broth or stock
  •  2 bay leaves
  •  2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds to 2 1/2 pound ham shank
  •  1/4 teaspoon black ground pepper
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin


  • Soak beans overnight in salt water, drain.
  • In bottom of stock pot, add oil and sauté onions and garlic over medium heat until softened (about 4 to 5 minutes). Remove from heat.
  • Add remaining vegetables, seasonings, ham shank, drained beans, and chicken stock or broth.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove ham shank from soup. Allow ham shank to cool slightly. Remove meat from bone. Discard bones, fat, and skin. Add meat to soup.

Continue cooking on simmer for an additional 30 to 45 minutes or until beans are soft

Minestrone Soup



  • 1# Ground Beef
  • 5 stalks celery sliced
  • 3 Medium Carrots  Quartered and sliced
  • 3-4 Medium Potatoes Cubed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 2 small cans tomato juice
  • 1 can beans, drained (Cannelli, Pinto, Lima, Kidney, etc)
  • 1 C Beef Broth
  • 1/8 tsp Garlic
  • 1/8 C Fresh Parsley
  • Dash of Oregano
  • Dash of Basil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 can Corn if desired (for color)

Brown ground beef, adding vegetables as you brown

Add tomatoes, tomato juice, beans, broth and spices

Simmer for 1 hour.

Serve with boiled seashell noodles.


Makes about 8 bowls of soup (freezes well)

Chicken or Beef Soup

Chicken or Beef Soup

  • 4 C washed, peeled, sliced carrots
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 4 C washed, sliced celery
  • Optional – Washed and chopped leeks
  • 1 whole chicken or equivalent amount of beef (if using beef add beef bones)
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Container of Broth (Beef or Chicken)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Ketchup


Wash, Peel and chop vegetables.

Melt butter in large soup pan.  Add vegetables, salt and pepper.

Fry about 10 min to soften them up a little bit.  Remove from pan.

Add 2 Tbsp more butter if needed and brown chicken or beef on all sides.

Add broth to cover the meat

Bring to boil and simmer 1 hour.

Remove meat from pan.

Remove Bay leaves and discard.

Add Vegetables back to broth.

Separate meat from skin and bones and add back to pot.

Simmer another 1/2 hour or until vegetables are soft enough.

At the end, add about 1 Tbsp. Ketchup or tomato juice and stir in.

Serve with Noodles or rice.