“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus

Greetings everyone! With temperatures dipping into the 30s and 40s at night in Northeastern Pennsylvania, one thing is abundantly clear: autumn is here. This means it is time for me to start cooking and blogging again.

I love autumn for so many reasons. Apple picking. Roasted Butternut Squash. Hooded Sweatshirts. Tailgating. Hot chocolates. Halloween Candy. Chili cook offs. Campfires. Pumpkin Soup. I can go on … but obviously, the majority of this list includes food. There’s no better way to transition into the colder weather than with a hearty, healthy bowl of soup (and a pair of Uggs!)

Here is a recipe for a beef barley soup I like to make. Barley is a whole grain that dates back to the Stone Age and is used in cereals, breads, soups and stews. This recipe calls for pearl barley, which is a grain that has had the bran removed and has been steamed and polished. It comes in three different sizes: coarse, medium and fine. You can buy it in bulk or in a box. I like to use the Quaker box of medium pearl barley.

Traditional beef barley soup is made with mushrooms. I didn’t have any and I like some spice, so I substituted a green pepper instead. I also didn’t have any beef stock on hand, so I used water and added boilloun cubes. You can play around with this recipe. Other than the chopping of the vegetables, it’s pretty easy and non-irritating to make. Hope you enjoy!

Fairytale Beef Barley Soup

Serves 6

1 lb grass feed stew beef
4 medium chopped carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 white onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
5-6 cloves of chopped garlic
6 cups water
3 beef bouillion cubes
1 cup strained tomatoes
1 cup of medium pearl barley
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves

1) Spray a large Dutch oven with non-stick cooking spray. Add onion and beef. Cook for 10 minutes until browned.

2) Add carrots, celery, and green pepper. Season with herbs. Cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir.

3) Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for an hour, until all the vegetables are tender and the barley is cooked. Discard the bay leaves.

Nutritional Information: 308 calories, 7 grams of fat, 36 g carbs, 7 g protein, 5 g sugar.


I also would like to note that one thing that will be missing this autumn is the Bloomsburg Fair, which I wrote about last year. For the first time in 157 years, the fair has been cancelled due to the devastating floods we’ve experienced here in Pennsylvania. My thoughts are with all those people who have been affected by the floods of 2011. My heart and prayers go out to you. I know the Bloomsburg Fair and Pennsylvania will be back bigger and better than ever. 🙂