The heat wave is just a memory, the days are noticeably shorter and the nighttime temperatures are in the low sixties...Today it is a breezy 73 degrees and dry - perfect for throwing soup ingredients in the crockpot:
Italian Beef and Barley Soup
1 1/2 pounds extra lean ground beef, cooked and drained
4 carrots, cut into 1/4" slices
1 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup pearl barley
4 cups beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes (14 ounce)
Throw everything in the crockpot and stir. Cook on low about 6 - 8 hours.
This being me, I never quite stick to the original recipe. It seemed a little bland the first time I made it, so this time I used the diced tomatoes with italian seasonings already added, and substituted a tablespoon of premixed italian seasoning for the seasonings shown here. I use bouillon granules to make the broth, so no additional salt is needed.
This makes six servings. It freezes well in one-cup containers that are perfect to take for lunch (I'd be eating soup for a week otherwise!).