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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas……..

Come on!  Everybody sing!  SEE?  Looks just like Christmastime…….No?

Ankle Biter 2 went out onto the deck to measure the snow on the table.

Snow 2

Looks like about 7″! 

But now, wait just a cotton-pickin’ minute…….  It’s not Christmastime.  Not even close!  It’s MARCH!  The month of SPRING starting!  Spring, do you hear me!?!?!?!  Not BLIZZARD weather.  If you want a Blizzard, go down to the friendly neighborhood Dairy Queen and they will hook you up! 

Do you remember me mentioning earlier this week that I.HATE.COLD.WEATHER.?????  Well, my loathing for that white stuff is about equal to my hatred of cold weather, period.  But if there’s any blessing here, it’s the fact it happened over the weekend when I don’t have to travel for work!  YEE HAW!  So Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!  Let It Snow!  How’s that for a song implant this morning?  More Christmas music here at practically the beginning of SPRING!

So what’s a girl to do who hates the cold when it comes a freakish blizzard in March?  And trust me, this much snow to a Southern gal is a BLEEEEEEEEE-ZARD!  No two ways about it! 

Well, she makes SOUP, of course!  If today isn’t a soup day, I’ve never seen one!  So I’ve had a pot of Vegetable Beef & Barley Soup on simmering for a couple hours already this morning.  It’s going to be today’s lunch to warm up a couple little blonde ankle biters after they’ve spent the whole morning in the snow.

Y’all wanna make soup with me?  It’s some awfully good-smelling stuff, let me tell you!

I started with half a bag of baby carrots, 5 small potatoes that I peeled and cut into chunks, a bag of frozen seasoning blend and loads of garlic:

Soup 1

I got my big 12 quart stockpot screaming hot on the stove with a little oil in the bottom, then I tossed in those potatoes, carrots, garlic and bag of seasoning blend to let it all caramelize a few minutes before adding liquid. 

After the oil was hot, I dumped in the carrots, potatoes, garlic and seasoning blend.  It looked a little something like this:

Soup 2

Look!  They’re getting happy in there! 

After the potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers and celery are caramelized a little, I added 3 bags of frozen Soup Vegetables:

Soup 3

Then I added about 12 cups of water.

Soup 4

 I also added a good deal of fresh cracked black pepper, some dried thyme leaves and finally some Montreal Chicken Seasoning.  That stuff is good for a lot more than just chicken!  It’s got loads of different spices in there!  But you could use any spice blend you have on hand!  This is not rocket science!

I let the veggies simmer for about 45 minutes before I messed with the soup again.  Next I added a container of leftover frozen roast from my freezer.  If I ever have leftover roast that’s not enough for another whole meal, this is what I use it for!  It’s perfect for a pot of soup!  See?

Soup 5

Look at that delicious roast!  YUM!!!!  And it’s already perfectly seasoned up too!  If you have leftover shredded chicken or pork, you could do absolutely the same thing!  And if you don’t want any meat at all, that’s fine too!  Just do veggies!  But today, we’re having Vegetable BEEF and Barley Soup!  :o) 

Soup 6

This is what it looked like before I stirred all the leftover roast in.  After I stirred in the meat, I let it simmer for about another 30 minutes before I added anything else.  I wanted the flavor of the roast to permeate the soup.  And that takes time. 

Next I added a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes with their juice and a 15 oz. can of crushed tomatoes.  After it simmered a bit, I decided it didn’t look tomatoe-y enough, so I added about 2 healthy squirts of tomato paste from a tube.

Soup 7

It’s starting to look awfully yummy!  And it was smelling beyond insane at this point!  Tall Skinny Man had to work today so I called him and told him to turn on his Smell-A-Phone.  He was NOT amused with me.  As a matter of fact, he called me a couple unkind names for tormenting him so………..but I’m just a bit evil that way. 

So let’s finish this soup, shall we?  Cuz I’m getting mighty hungry here!

Soup 8

The last thing to add is 1 cup of barley.  I ADORE barley in soup!  LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  After adding the barley, it should look a little something like this:

Soup Last

Oh yeah, baby!  Now that’s good snow food right there!  While I’m not fond of cold weather or snow, this perfect pot of soup absolutely makes it worth it……that and the fact that the roads are already clear and it’s supposed to be in the mid-to-high 50’s tomorrow so any remainder of snow will be gone very quickly! 

Now bring on the SPRING!  In the meantime, stay warm wherever you are and go make your family something full of love……like a pot of steaming hot soup!  Oh yeah, and a big, fat, drippy grilled cheese to dunk in it too!  That’s fabulous snow food, no doubt about it!

See you tomorrow!


4 Responses

  1. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THAT I HAVE STUFF OUT TO MAKE VEG. BEEF SOUP TOO!!! Last night i took out the beef to thaw so we could have that wonderful soup!!! great minds think alike

  2. That soup looks so good, minus the meat! LOL It will be awfullly good, with the kind of day you have there.

  3. we had potato soup after we played soccer in the flurries you let go of…….and since we were watching “Battle Ham” on Iron Chef America…….yeah, we threw in some ham……….and some cheese………..and some chives………….and had little tiny french bread toastlets…….

  4. I adore barley in soup! I know that had to be incredibly tasty.

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