Beef Barley Soup


Making soup in the microwave is a joy. There is no scum to skim off, so you get all the flavour of the beef and vegetables concentrated in the soup. There is no danger of burning things on the bottom of the pot, and it seems impossible to overcook it.


1 lb or more of stewing beef, cut into largish chunks

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2-3 carrots, cubed

4-5 mushrooms, cubed

2 cans (795 mil) diced tomatoes

2 cups of beef stock

water, as needed

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup of pearl barley

1 tsp of dried basil, or thyme, or other dried herb

salt and pepper, to taste


Dry the beef chunks on paper towels, then coat lightly with oil. Quickly brown the beef in a hot pan, or on the barbeque on high heat. Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Meanwhile, chop the onion, garlic, carrot and mushroom into small cubes. Put into a large, microwave-safe pot. When the beef has cooled, cut it into small cubes as well and add to the pot.

Pour in the diced tomatoes, beef stock and enough water to cover the meat and vegetables. Push the bay leaf down into the liquid.

Cover the pot and cook in the microwave on full power for at least 30 minutes.

Sitr in the pearl barley and the herbs. Cover again, and cook for another 30 minutes.

If the soup has thickened too much, add enough water to suit.

The soup keeps well in the refrigerator and tastes even better the next day.