This is one of my favorite soups. Mom always used to make this soup and I started making it when my children were small, back in Michigan, some 45 years ago.. when it was cold and the dampness never seemed to go away..it went down into your bones; my family still love it and I still make it. When I want a little comfort soup I like to make this...it sure takes the chill off..and is very simple to make...enjoy!
1Soak the barley the night before. Cover with water in a medium bowl. Next day drain water; set aside.
In a Dutch oven or kettle, cook the beef ,onion and celery until beef is browned and onion and celery are tender. Drain off any fat.
2Add all remaining ingredients, including the barley; simmer, covered about 30 minutes;add water or tomato juice if you want more liquid; until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf. Serve with rye bread.
Simple- yet so delicious.
If feeling energetic- Use fresh cut up vegetable, carrots,potato, some peas, green beans etc. cook together covered in water until al dente; then use in recipe above in place of the frozen veggies.