2 pounds lean ground beef
1 med-large onion, diced coarsely
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (not puree)
2 cups water
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes (if you can get unseasoned, that’s best)
1 large dash dash parsley
1 large dash garlic powder
1 large dash basil
1 large bag frozen mixed vegetables
3 large potatoes, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped coarsely (I cut stem in half lengthwise, then slice)
8 Tablespoons pearl barley or 1 cup small pasta (like orzo or tubetini, even elbows!)
1 bay leaf
1 box beef broth or 2 cups water mixed with 2+ Tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
salt and pepper
Brown meat, onions, and celery together.
Drain well (if using real lean beef, you can skip this step, it only adds to the flavoring).
Combine all ingredients in a large pot.
Heat until slight bubbling, stirring often, and then simmer for at least 2 hours or use a crock pot and cook up to 8 hours.
Keep covered for the majority of the time, take lid off if it looks more brothy then you’d prefer.
Season to taste, remove bay leaf before serving.
This soup freezes well.