Apples and soup

I’m starting to mourn the loss of summer. It’s my favorite season – being outside, never being cold, swimming, sunning, the beach. I love it all.

And while I’m already missing summertime, I’m trying to embrace the movement into fall. I do love a good backyard fire in jeans and a sweatshirt, but we’re not there yet. So until we are, I’m going to attempt to ease myself out of my summer bliss by doing traditional fall activities.

Like going to the apple orchard. Shhh… today is actually the first time we’ve picked apples at the orchard. We’ve visited many times, but have never actually picked apples until today. And we really had a great time. We met some friends at Anderson Orchard and then all piled into a minivan (3 adults, 6 kids and 2 infants!) to drive back into the hundreds of rows of apple trees.

It was beautiful. The weather, the scenery, the people. But I have to say, my favorite part of the morning was snuggling with Isaac…

IMG_5498 (1280x960)

I had him in the sling so we could get in and out of the car and pick apples easily…IMG_5499 (1280x960)

And he was totally loving the extra time with me while the girls and Lucas ran off with the other kids…IMG_5500 (1280x960)

So I snapped some picks during our last stop…IMG_5501 (1280x960)

And I have to say, looking at these pictures this afternoon warmed my soul just like warm apple cider does on a fall evening. So maybe fall isn’t so bad after all…

The other thing I did was make soup. I *LOVE* soup and this cooler weather was just calling for me to make one of my favorites. It’s so hearty and healthy and warms up great the next day for leftovers. Since it’s so simple I thought I’d share (because I’m all about finding new easy recipes that taste good myself). I altered a Betty Crocker’s recipe I found years ago. (It’s also SUPER easy to just brown the ground beef and then throw it all in a crock pot for the afternoon.)

Beef & Barley Stew

Beef & Barley Stew


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2/3 cup uncooked barley
  • 2 tsp fresh or 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 can (~15 oz) stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 package (~10 oz) frozen mixed vegetables


  1. Brown the ground beef, onion and garlic and drain.
  2. Combine the ground beef with all remaining ingredients in a dutch oven or similar stock pot.
  3. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until barley is done.

I actually leave out the onion when I make it just for my family because my husband despises onions, but I love it and think it adds great flavor to this soup. And sometimes when I’m in a hurry, I use Trader Joe’s 10 minute barley so you can have this stew made in 20 minutes if needed.

I hope you take some time to enjoy the beginning of fall. Because soon, winter is going to be here and IT’S GOING TO SUCK.

Ahem, excuse me.

17 thoughts on “Apples and soup

  1. Pingback: Apples and soup | Indy Geek GirlsIndy Geek Girls

  2. tinlizzy3

    I love sling snuggling! Glad you got photos to remember that special time with him.

    And I’m ready for soup season too. Will definitely give your recipe a try.

  3. Crystal

    I am definitely pro-summer and anti-winter, but that soup looks delicious. Also, you are gorgeous! Great pictures. You must be wearing your Benefit mascara 🙂

  4. Ann-Marie

    We need to get out to the apple orchard! This is my favorite time of year. Now if the 80 degree weather would puh-leeze go away so I can get my boots out!!

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