Category Archives: winter

Beef Barley Soup

The recipe for this winter stew is from my dear friend Tina Bornman. We had it for dinner on Monday. It can easily be transformed into a vegetarian variant with lentils.

Once we served it for a crowd of 90 for lunch at church preparing three batches. Surprisingly each batch turned out very different from the other depending on the taste buds of the chef. Amounts for 30 servings are included in brackets.


  • 1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey)                                      (6 lb, 3kg)
  • 1 cup chopped onions                                                                            (7-8 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic                                                                  (7-8 tbsps)
  • 6 cups of beef or chicken broth                                                         (11.5 litres)
  • ½ cup pearl barley                                                                                  (3.5-4 cups)
  • ½ cup diced turnip                                                                                  (3.5-4 cups)
  • ½ cup diced carrot                                                                                  (3.5-4 cups)
  • ½ cup diced, peeled potato                                                                  (3.5-4 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste                                                                       (1/3 cup)
  • ½ teaspoon thyme (and/or bay leaf,  marjoram, oregano)     (4 teaspoons)
  • black pepper


In a large pot, sauté ground beef, onions and garlic over medium heat until meat is cooked and onions are soft. Drain any fat. Then add beef brooth and pearl barley. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add vegetables and potatoes, tomato paste and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tina comments:

This is the basic recipe. Some things I’ve tried are:

  • Use different vegetables
  • Omit meat and add ½ cup green lentils with the barley.
  • Use 3 cups tomato juice and 3 cups broth, and omit the tomato paste.
  • If you rinse the barley in cold water several times before adding, the soup stays more clear-looking, and is not as thick.
    My family likes the thicker soup so I always just throw it in.

Thanks for sharing, Tina.


Leave a comment

Filed under easy, for a crowd, soup/ stew, winter

Sweet and Sour Lentil Stew

This is one of my favourite vegetarian soup Monday recipes for the winter. To reduce the total cooking time I soak the lentils in water for half a day and use my pressure cooker. It only takes 14 minutes on high to finish the cooking part.


  • Oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of leek, washed and cut in rings
  • 2-4 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or 2tbsp. vinegar)
  • 250g brown lentils
  • 4 medium-size potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 small apples, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tbsp. sultana raisins
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt, pepper, thyme, 1 glove.
  • 4 tbsp. sour cream.


Heat the oil in a large pot. Add chopped onion, garlic, leek and parsley and sauté until onions are tender. Add wine and cook until evaporated. Add lentils, apple and potato cubes, raisins, broth and spices to taste. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 45-60 minutes until lentils are tender. Add sour cream and more water if needed. Serve with fresh bread.

Leave a comment

Filed under soup/ stew, vegetarian, winter

Leek Potato Soup

This is a recipe that my mom-in-law makes. She picked it up in her favourite cooking show with French chef Paul Baucuse. It is easy to cook, quick to prepare and inexpensive. I have tried a couple of variations by replacing part of the leeks with other vegetables like carrots or squash or a mix of both. All turned out well. Some Wieners cut into cubes make a good meat addition.


  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3-4 leak stalks, washed and cut in thin stripes (discard the upper green parts)
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1.5 l water
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. parsley, minced.


Sauté the leeks and the carrots in butter for 10 min. Add potatoes and water. Boil on high without the lid for 15 min. Season with salt and pepper. Add sour cream and blend everything with a hand blender. Sprinkle with parsley.

Leave a comment

Filed under easy, fall, inexpensive, season, soup/ stew, vegetarian, winter