This nutritious soup never gets boring, because the vegetables can vary depending on what's in season or on hand. In Dad's case, he was too young to help his older brothers in the fields, so he'd dig the vegetables of his choice out of the garden and help his mom prepare the soup. The dumplings are optional.
- 2 to 3 meaty beef soup bones
- 3 quarts water
- 2 small onions, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium carrots, cubed
- 1-1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups cubed cabbage
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 2 cups cut green beans
- 3/4 cup medium pearl barley
- Minced fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- In a stockpot, place the beef bones, water, one onion and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Skim off foam. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 3 hours or until meat falls off the bones.
- Discard bones, onion and bay leaf. Remove meat from the bones and dice. Skim fat from broth. Add the meat, remaining onion quartered, remaining vegetables, barley and parsley to the pot. Season to taste. Cover and cook for 1 hour or until barley and vegetables are tender.
- For dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add milk and stir just until moistened. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto simmering liquid. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a dumpling comes out clean (do not lift the cover while simmering). Yield: 5 quarts.
Originally published as Vegetable Soup with Dumplings in Reminisce March/April 1991, p33
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