This is an old-timey “dump it in” and let it simmer on the stove recipe. Not fancy but very simple and oh so good! Serve with homemade WEM Cornbread or biscuits.


  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings or vegetable oil
  • 1-quart water (4 cups) twice
  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots (2-3), sliced
  • 2 cups (2-3) potatoes, diced
  • 1-15 ounce can chopped tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 can green beans, undrained
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, undrained


Baking Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 1/2 hours

  1. In a large stockpot, heat bacon drippings or oil on high. When hot, add meat and brown thoroughly.
  2. Add 1-quart water, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. While meat is simmering, rinse barley, chop vegetables, open canned vegetables.
  4. Add barley, onions, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, basil, and a second quart of water.
  5. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 1 hour.
  6. Add corn and green beans and simmer 30 minutes more.
  7. taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

Frozen corn and green beans or mixed vegetables can be substituted for canned. Cooking time may need to be altered slightly. Substitute WEM Basmati Rice or brown rice instead of barley. Add to soup for the last 30 minutes of cooking.