Clean out the fridge soup


Do you have a store of leftover vegetables languishing in your refrigerator? Use them up with this scrumptious soup.


1 1⁄2 pound
ground beef
onions (finely diced)
carrots (diced)
celery stalks (diced)
1⁄2 cup
1 can
diced tomatoes (28 ounce can (680ml))
bay leaves
4 cups
beef broth
1 teaspoon
garlic (minced)
1 can
tomato paste (optional)
salt and pepper (to taste)
1⁄2 teaspoon
dried thyme or Italian seasoning
1 pinch
chilli flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon
olive or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon
soya sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon
chopped parsley or green onions (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat and crumble in the ground beef. Cook and stir until the beef is evenly browned and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease.
  2. Stir in the onion, carrots, celery and barley and let cook for one minute. Pour in diced tomatoes, broth and the tomato paste (if using).
  3. Season with bay leaves, garlic, thyme, chilli flakes and salt and pepper. (Add half a teaspoon of salt now and taste the soup later to see if it needs more.)
  4. Add the parsley or green onions and stir in. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover the pot. Simmer for about 2 hours, stirring often.
  5. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Let simmer a few more minutes if you add more seasoning.
  6. Remove bay leaves before serving. Garnish with more parsley or chopped green onion if desired.


  • Instead of using barley you can use pasta. Cook some pasta shells in a separate pot and add to the soup bowls before serving. Don't add the pasta directly to the pot of soup as the pasta will soak up a lot of the broth and become soggy.
  • You can also put shredded lettuce, bean sprouts or a handful of baby spinach in the bottom of the bowl before adding the soup for added flavour.
  • You can add other vegetables to the soup or other preferred seasonings, such as a dash of chilli flakes.

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