Hello readers! For those of you in the Midwest & East Coast, I hope you all made it through last week’s polar vortex! It was -50° windchill in Chicago, and it was SO cold that we couldn’t be out with Tuggs for more than a minute (after taking 5 minutes to bundle ourselves and our little Lord Tuggs up to brave the cold for our sparse potty breaks)! Ugh…and while I was hoping it would still be cold enough to post this, the 40°+ weather outside has another thought in mind…but I didn’t want to wait any longer or push this till another cold front (which may or may not happen because Global Warming is a fickle thing), but it doesn’t hurt to have a good back up recipe for those colder days (or stay-at-home sick days)!
When bundling weather kicks in, or you’re feeling pretty crummy, the only thing to make is soup! Now, I didn’t make this over the polar vortex (we decided to make tempura chimkin nuggers instead), but about a week ago, I busted out my dutch oven and cooked us up some Hearty Beef & Barley soup! I used Cooktoria‘s recipe and it was super easy to throw together. This is a great recipe to curl up on the couch with and watch the snow fall outside. HOWEVER, next time I whip this up, I am going to add some more veggies because, while I do love me some carrots, it needed something else to bolster it slightly, like peas and celery. ALSO, add in garlic. There is no garlic in the recipe, but I feel like garlic is too much of a staple at the base of almost every soup, plus it’s just naturally good for you! So, put in about 2-3 minced garlic gloves when you throw in the onion! But the basis of this soup is here, and when it comes to soup, if you don’t have a good foundation, there’s no way to build it up. Plus, my need for more veggies could be a very personal one. I plan to tinker with this recipe on my own another time and adjust it a little to my own preference, but if you’re looking for a good soup that’s easy to make on a weeknight, this is the soup for you! — Cooking Maggie