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Minnesota Cooking: Minestrone Soup - Time to Clean the Pantry

Updated on September 8, 2016

It Thickens as it Cooks


I was hungry for soup and the granddaughters were on their way and it was going to be lunch time. I got out a soup pan, then changed my mind and got out the crockpot liner. My liner comes out and you can cook the ingredients on the stovetop in the crockpot before you place it in the heater.

I had a package of Bear Creek Minestrone Soup. Before you say that a package of soup is cheating, let me tell you, that I didn’t stop at the soup mix. I looked in the cabinet and decided to use up a few items that have been sitting around, ignored.

Like, for example; I bought some corned beef hash at the Dollar Store and the first can of it made me get an upset stomach because it was so greasy. Well, plus, I made a pig of myself and ate the whole can, plus eggs by myself. It wasn’t as good as Hormel. The Minnesota Hormel company does a great job on Corned Beef Hash

So, the soup mix said to start with eight cups of water. I mixed the corned beef hash and one can of mushrooms in the water and brought it to a boil. I added the soup mix and stirred. Of course, I had part of an onion in the refrigerator and chopped that up and added it. In my cupboard, was a bit of barley, about 2 cups worth.

Best to use it up, so in the soup it went.

You Start With Eight Cups of Water


Stove Top Use Slow Cooker Liner


Clean Out Cupboard and Pantry


Bring Water to Boil with Corned Beef Hash and Mushrooms


Add Bear Creek Soup Mix


Two Boullion Cubes - I used Beef Flavor


Add Two Cups of Quick Cooking Barley


Bring to Boil and Cook on Medium 10 - 15 Minutes


Steps to Success

The barley said to use five cups of water with ¾ cup of barley. Well. I had 8 cups of water in my soup and after boiling everything for ten minutes, I decided I better replenish the water, so I added 2 cups more water. Plus, I added two beef boullion cubes.

Did I forget to mention anything? Let me think….the water was brought to a boil, the soup mix was added. It said to cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Uncovered. There are noodles in the Minestrone mix, so that’s why the time is 10 minutes. You’ll have to check the noodles for doneness to know if the soup is progressing.

I added the barley and that will absorb water as well. Like I said, I added the two cups of water after the fact. The flavor is amazing. Everything has merged into a thick stew base. I tasted it. The corned beef and potato mixture has added to the thickness and the beef flavor. The onions could been caramelized first, but, I didn’t do that.

So, now, the 10 minutes of boiling time are over and I moved it to a back burner and it is on low, just simmering. The girls will be here by lunch time, so we’ll have it then.

My house smells good and it only took 20 minutes to accomplish. Well done, Char!


  1. Bring water, mushrooms, boullion cubes and corned beef hash to boil.
  2. Add soup mix. Add barley. Stir. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure soup is gently boiling.
  3. You can add more water if you feel it is too thick. The water will boil itself out of the soup, so it will continue to thicken.
  4. You can either move crockpot to crockpot heater or move to back burner on low heat to merge the flavors.


  • 1 package Bear Creek Soup Mix, Minestrone
  • 1 can Corned Beef Hash
  • 1 can Mushrooms, pieces and stems
  • 10 cups water
  • 1/2 cup diced Vidalia Onion
  • 2 cups Quick Cooking Barley, Quaker
  • 2 Boullion cube, Beef

Barley Minestrone Soup

Cast your vote for Barley Minestrone Soup
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 cup
Calories 500
Calories from Fat216
% Daily Value *
Fat 24 g37%
Saturated fat 10 g50%
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 22 g7%
Sugar 10 g
Fiber 4 g16%
Protein 12 g24%
Cholesterol 75 mg25%
Sodium 1000 mg42%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

It Really Thickens - Now It's Barely Soup

barely, NOT just barley...
barely, NOT just barley... | Source

How About You

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How to Make Minestrone


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