Once long ago, I worked in an elementary school where a class read the story "Stone Soup" and then made this recipe. Probably one of the easiest soup recipes you can make, the children all gobbled it up and asked for more. We were a little stunned. It's simple and homey, good with some crusty buns and a tossed salad. You can add more vegetables if you like but it's still really good as is. Top the bowl with a dollop of sour cream and you're good to go.
1 1/2 pounds (750 g) of lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
28 oz can tomatoes
2 cups water
3-10 oz cans low sodium beef broth
1-10 oz can tomato soup
4 carrots, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 celery sticks, finely chopped
1/2 tsp thyme
pepper to taste
1/2 cup barley
In a large pot, brown the beef and the onions until the beef is no longer pink. Drain off the fat. Add all the other ingredients and simmer, covered, a minimum of 2 hours. This soup also freezes well and makes great leftovers.
Adapted from The Best of Bridge