Beef and Barley Soup

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A delicious and filling homemade soup recipe, today’s Beef and Barley Soup is completely prepared in one pot for an easy and comforting meal that is loaded with tender chunks of beef, perfectly cooked vegetables, a flavorful broth and chewy pearl barley.

A delicious and filling one-pot Beef and Barley Soup. An easy and comforting meal that is loaded with tender chunks of beef, perfectly cooked vegetables, a flavorful broth and chewy pearl barley.

Beef and Barley Soup Recipe

Beef and Barley soup was always one of my favorite soups growing up.

We’d only ever have it around St Patrick’s Day and it was a comforting meal as the weather outside shifted from the last of winter cold to the gray beginnings of Spring. There is something so nourishing about enjoying a bone-warming and flavorful bowl of soup when the weather outside is dreary. It perks you up and puts a smile on your face.

There are lots of complicated recipes for beef and barley soup out there, but I think comfort food should be easy – so this streamlined recipe is all cooked in one pot, skips complicated vegetable prep and is ready in less than an hour.

But, easy prep shouldn’t mean a flavor compromise. This beef and barley stew features tender, perfectly cooked beef that is slow-simmered in a flavorful herb-and-tomato-infused beef broth along with some sturdy vegetable staples and pearl barley.

I’ve always used pearl barley when making beef barley soup. It has a rich, nutty flavor and stays chewy with cooking – none of the gritty, grainy texture that some other grains can take on. It’s a whole grain so it adds fibre and protein to this dish which help fill you up and fuel you for longer.

You can use leftover barley to make salads, make as an alternative for oatmeal, or even make it into a barley risotto.

Do you cook barley before adding it to soup? Cooking the barley in the soup allows the natural starches of the barley to thicken the soup, so I prefer to just rinse well and add it uncooked to the soup. If you don’t want to thicken the broth, cook the barley separately first before adding to the soup. Add in within in the last 10 minutes of cooking time to take on some of the broth’s flavor.

How do you thicken barley soup? By cooking the barley in the soup, the broth will naturally thicken. However, if you want your broth even thicker you can remove 1/2 cup of the hot broth and whisk in 1-2 Tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to form a slurry. Stir the slurry back into the soup and continue cooking 5 more minutes.

What is the best beef for beef barley soup? Because the beef is going to be seared completely before cooking in a flavorful broth, you can use any cut of meat as it will become tender with cooking. Feel free to use the cheapest cut you can find at your grocery store. For the best results, brisket or “chuck” (shoulder cut) would be my recommendation.

 

What to Serve with Beef Barley Soup

Beef Barley Soup Ingredients

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.

Tip: you can also add chopped kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking or add 1/4 cup of red wine for depth of flavor.

Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful

  • Heavy stockpot or Dutch Oven <– highly recommended for even cooking and seamlessly transferring recipes from the stove to the oven
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Sharp kitchen knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Wooden Spoon

How to Make Beef Barley Soup

Place 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.

Pat the beef dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

Place the beef in the hot oil, being sure not to overcrowd the pot. (You may need to do two batches.

Sear the beef cubes on each side, about 3 minutes, until chocolate brown.

Remove the beef cubes to a clean plate.

Add remaining oil to the pot and allow to get hot before adding the chopped onion, carrots and celery. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the chopped garlic and tomato paste, stir well and cook 1 more minute.

Add in beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaf, uncooked barley and the seared beef.

Bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce and simmer, covered, for 40-50 minutes until barley is cooked.

Remove the bay leaf and sprinkle in fresh chopped parsley before serving.

 

Pin this Easy Beef and Barley Soup recipe for your next comfort food craving:

How to make the best beef barley soup in one pot! This comforting soup recipe features tender chunks of beef, perfectly cooked vegetables, a flavorful broth and chewy pearl barley. Ready from start to finish in one hour

Grab your free printable recipe card for our homemade beef and barley soup recipe:

Yield: 8 servings

Beef and Barley Soup

Beef and Barley Soup

A delicious and filling one-pot Beef and Barley Soup. An easy and comforting meal that is loaded with tender chunks of beef, perfectly cooked vegetables, a flavorful broth and chewy pearl barley.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups beef, cut into 1” cubes
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into slices
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped and ends discarded
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cups beef broth, or more as desired
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 cup pearl barley, uncooked and rinsed
  • Fresh parsley, optional for serving

Instructions

  1. Place 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Pat the beef dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the beef in the hot oil, being sure not to overcrowd the pot. (You may need to do two batches.
  4. Sear the beef cubes on each side, about 3 minutes, until chocolate brown.
  5. Remove the beef cubes to a clean plate.
  6. Add remaining oil to the pot and allow to get hot before adding the chopped onion, carrots and celery. Cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Add the chopped garlic and tomato paste, stir well and cook 1 more minute.
  8. Add in beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, bay leaf, uncooked barley and the seared beef.
  9. Bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce and simmer, covered, for 40-50 minutes until barley is cooked.
  10. Remove the bay leaf and sprinkle in fresh chopped parsley before serving.

Notes

Tip: you can also add chopped kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking or add 1/4 cup of red wine for depth of flavor.

The barley will thicken the broth as it cooks, but if you want your broth thicker, you can remove 1/2 cup of the hot broth and whisk in 1-2 Tablespoons of flour or cornstarch to form a slurry. Stir the slurry back into the soup and continue cooking 5 more minutes.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 799mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 3gProtein: 19g

Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.

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I hope your family loves this homemade one-pot beef and barley soup recipe as much as mine does!

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Original image from 2014:

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