2 TBS olive oil
1.25 lbs. lean beef stew meat, cut into very small pieces (less than 1/2 inch)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 c. warm organic beef broth (or 6 c. water & good boullion)
fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 stalk celery, diced
1 - 16 oz package frozen mixed vegetables
2 baking potatoes, washed, peeled & diced
1/2 c. quick cooking barley
1/2 c. alphabet noodles
Heat oil over medium high heat in large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add meat & brown well. Add onion & garlic & cook, stirring often, until onion just begins to be translucent.
Pour in warm broth & seasonings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer & add celery, mixed vegetables & diced potatoes. Cover & simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add barley & alphabet noodles. Cover. Continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes until barley & noodles are done, stirring often.
Serve with a nice crusty bread.