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Basic Beefy Tomato Vegetable Soup with variationsabout 3 1/2 gallons, one electric roaster full. Serves 50 to 60.
20 quart stockpot or roasting pan, or electric roaster
Toss beef with flour, salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven, brown the meat in batches in oil; drain. This takes about 40 minutes. Saute the onions and optional celery until golden in the same pot, add garlic and cook 5 minutes longer. Pour over some of the water to cover the onions, bring to a boil and stir to loosen any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
Transfer meat, onions and water to a 20 quart stockpot or soup kettle, or roaster; add garlic if not sauteed, bay leaves, thyme, optional Italian seasoning, additional water, tomato sauce and juice, bouillon and barley. Bring to a boil, this will take about an HOUR. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 hour (1/2 hour for ground meat). Add vegetables except cabbage and parsley; bring to a boil again. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until vegetables and meat are tender. ADD PASTA, NOODLES, PARSLEY AND SHREDDED CABBAGE just 1/2 hour before serving. Add water or broth as needed to get the desired consistency. Correct salt and pepper. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Reader Barbara writes:
I do lots of large-group broth-based soups and have totally discontinued using potatoes in them. Potatoes get water logged and disintegrate in the broth. Now I use turnips or rutabagas instead of potatoes. They provide bulk but retain their structure, contribute flavor, and freeze well. Beef barley with turnips is great!