Quick to assemble in the morning--ready when the family arrives in the evening.

5 cups water
2 cans (10oz. each) condensed beef broth
10oz. can of sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
7 1/2 oz. can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup pearl barley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 3/4 tsp. flakes)
Makes about 12 cups
Combine first 12 ingredients in 4 to 5 quart slow cooker.
Cover.
Cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 5 hours.
Remove and discard bay leaves.
Add peas and parsley.
Stir well.
Cover.
Cook on High for 3 to 5 mintues until peas are heated through.