Potato Beef Soup


1 pound chuck or bottom round
1 marrow bone (optional)
2 quarts water
1/2 large onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 tablespoons cup barley
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
3 large Idaho or russet potatoes

Place all the ingredients except potatoes in crockpot. Cover tightly and cook overnight. In the morning, skim away any scum that rises to the top. Peel and dice potatoes and add them to the soup. Cook additional 8-12 hours. Skim away any visible fat floating on top of the soup. Remove the marrow bone, pick out the marrow and return to soup. Discard the bones and bay leaf.

Remove the meat, cut into bite-size pieces, and return to the soup. Serve hot, in large bowls, as a meal-in-one.

NOTE: An interesting variation on this soup is to substitute 1 cup of baby lima beans, soaked in water to cover overnight, for the barley.