Bacon, Beef, and Barley Soup

This is the perfect HEARTY soup to serve one of these lovely FALL days! I would almost call it a STEW because its very thick and rich. I bet your FAMILY will like it as much as mine did. :)

Bacon, Beef, and Barley Soup
4 bacon strips, chopped
1 1/2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
4 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups fresh baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup medium pearl barley
2 cans beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and garlic, undrained
1 (12-ounce) jar home-style beef gravy
1/2 teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels to drain. In drippings, cook beef and onion until meat is no longer pink.
In a 5-quart slow cooker, layer the potatoes, carrots, corn, and barley. Top with the beef mixture and bacon. Combine the broth, tomatoes, gravy, and pepper and then pour over top. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 to 9 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Stir before serving.

TIP: Serve this with some yummy crusty bread for a very rounded and fulfilling meal!

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